Discover Turkey, photo courtesy of Turkey Home
Mount Nemrut is known as the highest open air museum in the world. Also, the huge disembodied stone heads of Mount Nemrut are one of Turkey's most iconic images.
Mount Nemrut houses the most majestic places of worship belonging to the Hellenistic Era in ancient Anatolia. According to the inscriptions, Antiochus I had a monumental tomb, a tumulus of cut stones over the tomb, and terraces along the three edges of the tumulus built in order to show his gratitude to the gods and his ancestors.
Those terraces are known as the East, West and North terraces. On the East and West terraces are giant statues, inscriptions and reliefs. Among the five statues that depict the gods is also the figure of Antiochus I.
The row of statues starts with a lion and eagle statue. The lion, the king of animals, represents earthly power, and the eagle, the herald of the gods, represents heavenly power.
The East terrace contains the Gallery of Gods, the Gallery of Ancestors and the Altar. The arrays of sculptures on the East and West terraces are the same. However, the thrones on the East terrace and the heads of the sculptures on the West terrace are more lasting.
Behind the stone blocks making the thrones of the statues of East and West terraces there is a cult inscription of 237 lines, written in Greek letters. The inscription was the will of Antiochus I, and contains information about the sanctuary as well as rituals that should be used for practicing the cult.
The North terrace, which contains incomplete bases and stelas was used as a passageway between East and West terraces, and it was surrounded by a sandstone wall.
Mount Nemrut is known as the Eight Wonder of the World with its 2000 year old giant statues, of gods, one of the strongest draws in the historical region in which it is found.
Mount Nemrut is described as the sacred place of Commagene Kingdom with its enchanting statues standing ten metres high and inscriptions that are several metres long, inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List as a cultural asset in 1987.
UNESCO Identity Card:
Official Name: Mount Nemrut
Architectural Type: Royal Sanctuary and Monumental Tomb
Built: 62 BC
Date added to Unesco: 1987
Location: Adiyaman, Turkey
Mount Nemrut, Adiyaman
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