Nemrut Mountains

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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.

The western terrace contains a large slab with a lion, showing the arrangement of stars and the planets Jupiter, Mercury and Mars on 7 July 62 BC. This may be an indication of when construction began on this monument. The eastern portion is well preserved, being composed of several layers of rock, and a path following the base of the mountain is evidence of a walled passageway linking the eastern and western terraces. Possible uses for this site is thought to have included religious ceremonies, due to the astronomical and religious nature of the monument.

The arrangement of such statues is known by the term hierothesion. Similar arrangements have been found at Arsameia on Nymphaios at the hierothesion of the father of Antiochus, Mithridates I Callinicus.

Ancient HistoryWhen the Seleucid Empire was defeated by the Romans in 189 BCE at the Battle of Magnesia it began to fall apart and new kingdoms were established on its territory by local authorities. Commagene being one of the Seleucid successor states occupied a land in between the Taurus mountains and the Euphrates. The state of Commagene had a wide range of cultures which left its leader from 62 BCE - 38 BCE Antiochus I to carry on a peculiar dynastic religious program, in which it included not only Greek and Persian deities but Antiochus and his family as well. This religious program was very possibly an attempt of Antiochus to unify his multiethnic kingdom and secure his dynasty's authority.

Antiochus supported the cult as a propagator of happiness and salvation.[2] Many of the monuments on Mount Nemrud are ruins of the imperial cult of Commagene. The most important area to the cult was the tomb of Antiochus I, in which was decorated with colossal statues made of limestone. Although the Imperial cult did not last long after Antiochus, several of his successors had their own tombs built on Mount Nemrud.[3] For around half of the year, Mount Nemrud lays covered in snow which in effect has increased its weathering which has in part caused the statues to fall in ruin.(wikipedia)

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Comments (60)

Giorgi 1971 on February 15, 2013

Very impressive composition and photo. Like + Favourite! Best regards from Georgia. Gio

Giorgos Dimitriadis on February 15, 2013

Thanks a lot Gio for kind comment and YsL 15/20

BernardJ47 on April 19, 2013

L+F. Piękny kadr. Interesujące miejsce. Pozdrawia Bernard

Giorgos Dimitriadis on April 20, 2013

Thanks a lot Bernard for nice comment and YsL 17/21

Maciej K on October 12, 2013

To the pair. 19.23

Giorgos Dimitriadis on October 12, 2013

Thanks a lot Maciejk for kind comment and YsL 19/23

Fred Quader on October 25, 2013

L 24, F 20 a very good capture.

Giorgos Dimitriadis on October 25, 2013

Thanks a lot Kastl for nice comment and YsL 20/24

ROSTAMDALILA on December 25, 2013

Great photo-sculptures today are already sorted and chain. I was here in 1998 and it was possible to take pictures with the statues.21/25

Giorgos Dimitriadis on December 25, 2013

Thanks a lot ROSTAMDALILA for kind comment and YsL 21/25

Akhtar Bashir Nigyal on February 19, 2014

Marvelous composition...

Stunning capture...


Giorgos Dimitriadis on February 19, 2014

Thanks a lot Akhtar Bashir Nigyal for nice comment and YsL 22/26

Biplab Kumar Pal on March 20, 2014

Excellent shot, L+F, best wishes. Biplab.

Giorgos Dimitriadis on March 21, 2014

Thanks a lot Biplab for kind comment and YsL 23/27

Красивое фото! F+L C наилучшими пожеланиями из Карелии, Fen

Giorgos Dimitriadis on June 1, 2014

Thanks a lot Fen for nice comment and YsL 24/28



RNLatvian 9 days ago

Belíssimo! Like! Um forte abraço diretamente de Brasília!

Giorgos Dimitriadis 9 days ago

Thanks a lot ►③Hnos GP Brothers③◄… for YsL 25/29

Giorgos Dimitriadis 9 days ago

Thanks a lot RNLatvian for kind comment and Like 30

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on June 11, 2012
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Giorgos Dimitriadis
    • Camera: FUJI PHOTO FILM CO., LTD. SP-2000