Cultural Corridors of South East Europe

South East Europe / Diagonal Road

Nemrut Dag

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Nemrut Dag

About the site


Corridor: Diagonal Road
Country: Turkey, Adyaman
Type: Ancient Site
Epoch:
Theme: Antiquity
World Heritage: Cultural Heritage
AntiquityAncient SiteCultural Heritage

The mausoleum of Antiochus I (69–34 B.C.), who reigned over Commagene, a kingdom founded north of Syria and the Euphrates after the breakup of Alexander's empire, is one of the most ambitious constructions of the Hellenistic period. The syncretism of its pantheon, and the lineage of its kings, which can be traced back through two sets of legends, Greek and Persian, is evidence of the dual origin of this kingdom's culture.

UNESCO

Nemrut Dag (Mt Nemrud) is a mountain measuring 2,150meters in height. It is located near the village of Karadut in Kahta county in the province of Adiyaman. Kings of the Kommagene dynasty from 80 B.C. to 72 A.D ruled Adiyaman and its vicinity. This kingdom, whose capital was Samosata (now called Samsat), was founded around 80 B.C. by Mithridates 1, father of Antiochos 1. The kingdom's independence came to an end with its defeat by Roman legions in the last of the Kommagene wars and it became part of the Roman province of Syria.The magnificent ruins on the summit of Mt Nemrud are not those of an inhabited site however. They are instead the famous tumulus (burial mound) and hierotheseion (a word that is derived from Greek and refers to the sacred burial precinct of
the royal family, and whose use is known only in Kommagene) of King Antiochos I of Kommagene, who ruled from 69 to 36 B.C. In a cult inscription, King Antiochos declares that he had the site built for the ages and generations that were to follow him "as a debt of thanks to the gods and to his deified ancestors for their manifest assistance".
In 1989, Nemrut Dag and its environs were declared a national park. The tumulus on the summit of Mt Nemrud measures 50 meters high and covers an area 150 meters in diameter. It is formed from stones the size of a fist and is bounded on the east, west, and north by terraced courts carved out of the native rock. The eastern court was the center of the sacred precinct and is the most important group of sculptural and architectural works. It is surrounded on the west by colossal statues, on the east by a fire altar in the shape of a stepped pyramid, and on the north and south by low walls of orthostats (upright stone slabs) standing on a long, narrow base.
 

Expert Network


Read more about Nemrut Dag at the Unesco World Heritage List.

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