Nemrut or Nemrud is a 2,134 m (7,001 ft) high mountain in southeastern Turkey, notable for the summit where a number of large statues are erected around what is assumed to be a royal tomb from the 1st century BCE.
Location & Description
The mountain lies 40 km (25 mi) north of Kahta, near Adıyaman. In 62 BC, King Antiochus I Theos of Commagene built on the mountain top a tomb-sanctuary flanked by huge statues (8–9 m/26–30 ft high) of himself, two lions, two eagles and various Greek, Armenian, and Iranian gods, such as Hercules-Vahagn, Zeus-Aramazd or Oromasdes (associated with the Iranian 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 have at some stage been removed from their bodies, and they 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 statues have not been restored to their original positions.
The site also preserves stone slabs with bas-relief figures that are thought to have formed a large frieze. These slabs display the ancestors of Antiochus, who included both Greek and Persians. The same statues and ancestors found throughout the site Can also be found on the tumulus at the site, which is 49 m (161 ft) tall and 152 m (499 ft) in diameter. The statues appear to have Greek-style facial features, but Persian clothing and hairstyling.
Heritage Site Status
In 1987, Mount Nemrut was made a World heritage site by UNESCO. Tourists typically visit Nemrut during June through August. The nearby town of Adıyaman is a popular place for car and bus trips to the site, and one can also travel from there by helicopter. There are also overnight tours running out of Malatya.