Nemrut Dagi

Nemrut Mountain is high mountain in southeastern Turkey, notable for the vast statues at a 1st century BC tomb on its summit. The mountain lies 40km north of Kahta, near Adiyaman. In 1987, Nemrut mountain was made a world heritage site by Unesco and immediatly after the area was declared a national park by the Turkish Ministry of Forest.


King Antiochus I Theos of Commagene built on the mountain top a tomb-sanctuary flanked by huge statues (8-9 meters high) of himself, two lions, two eagles and various Armenian, Greek and Persian gods, such as Hercules, Zeus-Oromasdes (associated with the Persian god Ahura Mazda), Tyche, and Apollo-Mithras. These statues were once seated, with names of each god inscribed on them. The heads of the statues are now scattered throughout the site; the pattern of damage to the heads (notably to noses) suggests that they were deliberately damaged because of belief in iconoclasm. The site also preserves stone slabs with bas-relief figures that are thought to have formed a large frieze. These stones display the ancestors of Antiochus, who included both Macedonians and Persians.

The same statues and ancestors found throughout the site can also be found on the tumulus at the site, which is 49 meters tall and 152 meters in diameter. The statues have the likeness of Greek facial features, in conjunction with Persian clothing and hairstyling. The western terrace contains a large slab with a lion, showing the arrangement of stars and the planets Jupiter, Mercury and Mars on 7 July 62 BC, the possible time when construction began on this monument. The eastern portion is well preserved, being composed of several layers of rock, and there is evidence of a walled passageway linking the eastern and western terraces, from a path below at the foot of Mount Nemrut.

Here you can wonder around the cone shape, a man made summit, where Antiochus’s tumules was located which were hided under the man made limestone dome. It is amazing to watch the sun sets and sun rises at the summit. However, the sun rise is very cold, make sure that you have thick sleeping bags or blankets from the hotel you stay in, even in the hot summer days.

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