The History of Mount Nemrut
Nemrut Mountain at 2150 meters high, the heart of Commagene Civilization, is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Located in the village of Karadut in Kahta county, 86 kilometers away from Adiyaman, the mountain is one of the most beautiful places where sunrise and sunset are watched. That’s why it attracts many local and foreign visitors around the world.
In the first century BC, King Antiochos I wanted to make a magnificent monumental grave for himself. The King had a tumulus of 50 meters in height constructed on top of the grave. Besides, he ordered to build sanctuary areas surrounding the three sides of the tumulus.
The King’s descendants came from Persia in the east by his father, and Alexander the Great in the west by his mother. He desired to have a grave looking east and west. So the gods can greet both his mother and his father each morning and evening. Therefore, eastern and western terraces were built on Mount Nemrut.
Secrets of Mt. Nemrut
In both terraces, the gods stand in the same order. There are magnificent sculptures, reliefs and inscriptions on the east and west sides, about 10 meters high, formed by eight overlaid stone carvings. The statuettes begin with the statue of the lion, the king of animals on earth, and eagle, messenger of gods in the sky. Then the order continues with King Antiochos I, Commagene Goddess Fortuna, Zeus, Apollo and Herakles.
Because the King accepted himself as a god, he built his own statue with other gods. The east terrace is witnessing the birth of the sun. Those who want to watch the sunrise together are flocking here, like four o’clock in the morning. The western terrace is saying goodbye to the sun on the sunset…
The only difference of the east terrace from the west is the lion figure. The statue has suffered great damage especially from the wind. Thus, it’s taken to protection today and can not be seen. However, we know that on this figure is plotted an astrological phenomenon happening every 25 thousand years. Behind the stone blocks that represent the thrones of the god, there are 237 long cult inscriptions Nomos written in Greek letters.
Unfortunately, the sculptures does not remain as a whole today. So we only see the heads on the ground separately from the body.
A Miraculous Site in Turkey
Adiyaman is crowned with the gifts of Commagene Civilization. Although Mount Nemrut is famed for its sculptures and sunrise and sunset, there are also cultural heritages to be seen in the vicinity. According to the inscriptions of King Antiochos I, the Commandant of the Commagenethe built the Arsameia site (Nymphaios Arsemeia). It was the summer capital and administrative center of the Kingdom. Furthermore, the hill hosts the grave temple and palace of Mithradathes Callinichos as well.
Karakus Tumulus is a monumental tomb built by Mithrades II, King of Commagene, in the name of his mother Isas. The Tumulus was named as Blackbird Tumulus due to the eagle on top of the column.
Cendere Bridge is a large arch on Kahta Creek. It was built by the Romans at the beginning of 2nd century AD. A magical place to watch the stars at night!