Mount Nemrut

Mount Nemrut

The Mount Nemrut Tumulus, situated in eastern Turkey, was erected by King Antiochus I Theos of Commagene in 1st century BC. The kingdom was established at the crossroads of Anatolia and Syria in 190 BC. The tumulus, also referred to as "the Mountain of the Gods," features sculptures depicting gods from a variety of religions, including Greek, Armenian, and Mesopotamian.

Located between the villages of Sincik, Tepehan, Gerger, and Eski Kahta, the site has numerous points of interest for visitors. The entrance to the Mt. Nemrut Tumulus leads to a mound of small rocks, dating back to the 1st century BC, with a circumference of 150m and a height of 50 meters. King Antiochus I constructed this grand monument for himself, along with a burial chamber and holy areas surrounding it on three sides, offering stunning views of the sunrise, sunset, and panoramic vistas across hundreds of miles. The king aimed to create a grand tomb that would leave a lasting impression.

Mount Nemrut

The Mount Nemrut Tumulus features three terraces where ceremonies were held to honor the deceased king. The east and west terraces have similar layouts, with statues of gods in seated positions.

Eastern Terrace

The eastern terrace contains a statue of King Antiochus himself, placed atop a row of gods, signifying his worthiness and goodness compared to his ancestors. Other statues on this terrace include Apollo, the ruler of the gods; Fortuna, the Latin goddess of blessings and good fortune; and Zeus, who represents the power of all beings and rules over the sky.

At the ends of each column, lion and eagle statues symbolize power in this world and celestial powers, respectively. The statues stand several meters high, with headstones measuring at least two meters tall. Unfortunately, many of the figures are headless, and their scattered heads and crumbled parts can be found scattered around the site.

Northern Terrace

The northern terrace of Mount Nemrut Tumulus boasts a 10-meter-long ceremonial walkway that connects the east and west terraces. Additionally, the site contains uncompleted steel pillars that were originally intended to be 80 meters long.

Western Terrace

On the western terrace, the gallery of the gods is similar to that on the eastern terrace, but five sandstone reliefs are missing. Nevertheless, the remaining monuments are well preserved and depict King Antiochus shaking hands with Apollo, Zeus, and Hercules. The names of the gods are written in both Greek and Persian, showcasing King Antiochus' claims to both Alexander the Great (Macedonian) and Darius the Great (King of Persia). The gods' faces are positioned towards the east and west to unite the cultural differences of King Antiochus' ancestors.

Mount Nemrut was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1987 as a cultural heritage site.