Nemrut Mountain Ruins are located within the borders of Büyüköz Village of Pütürge and Kahta District of Adıyaman (Southeastern Turkey). The tombs and monumental sculptures built by the Commagene King Antiochos I on the slopes of Mount Nemrut, which is 2,150 meters high, to show his gratitude to the gods and ancestors, are one of the most magnificent remains of the Hellenistic Period. Monumental sculptures are spread over the east, west, and north terraces. The well-preserved giant sculptures are made of limestone blocks and are 8-10 meters high. An independent kingdom was established by Mithradates I in the region, which was called Commagene in ancient times. The kingdom gained importance during the period of his son Antiochos I (62-32 BC). The kingdom's independence came to an end after the war against Rome was lost in 72 AD.
The summit of Mount Nemrut is not a settlement; it is the tumulus and sacred areas of Antiochos. The tumulus is at a point overlooking the Euphrates River passages and plains. The tumulus, 50 meters high and 150 meters in diameter, where the king's bones or ashes were placed in the room carved into the bedrock, was protected by covering small rock fragments. Although it is stated in the inscriptions that the king's tomb is here, it has not been discovered. There are statues of Antiochos and gods and goddesses and lion and eagle sculptures on the east and west terraces. There is a unique lion horoscope on the west terrace. The sculptures were carved by blending Hellenistic, Persian art and the original art of the Commagene Country. In this sense, Mount Nemrut can be called the bridge between western and eastern civilizations.
With the disappearance of the Commagene Kingdom from the stage of history, the works on Mount Nemrut were left alone for about two thousand years. In 1881, the German engineer Karl Sester, who was on duty in the region, came across the statues of Mount Nemrut and informed the German Consul in Izmir by mistaking the ruins of the Commagene Kingdom and the Greek inscriptions behind the pedestals on which the god statues were placed, thinking they were Assyrian ruins. Karl Sester made this mistake, excited to discover the giant sculptures. In 1882, Otto Puchstein and Karl Sester made a study in Nemrut. Osman Hamdi Bey, the Director of the Imperial Museum, came with a team in 1883 and worked in Nemrut. American archaeologist Theresa Goell and German Karl Doerner conducted excavations, research, and studies in Nemrut and its region after World War II.
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