One of Turkey’s most spectacular archaeological sites and mysterious mountaintop mausoleum with broken remnants of once mammoth statues which guarded it.
Mount Nemrut is an amazing ancient sites, renowned for the giant head statues on its summit. These large statues were erected around what is assumed to be a royal tomb from the 1st century BC. The site is one of the main tourist attractions of Eastern Turkey.
The 2,134 metre high (7,001 ft) Mount Nemrut, is located about 87 km from Adiyaman, and 53 km from Kahta district, in southeastern Turkey. Often referred to as the Throne of the Gods, it is the site of extensive ruins of the tomb of Antiochos I (69-36 BC) of the Commagene Kingdom (163 BC – 72 AD).
In 62 BCE, King Antiochus I, built a tomb-sanctuary on top of Mount Nemrut, flanked by huge statues of himself, two lions, two eagles and various Greek, Armenian and Persian gods such as, Zeus and Apollo. Over the centuries, the statues have lost their heads, and lay scattered throughout the site, due to frequent earthquakes or because of iconoclasm.
A UNESCO World Heritage site since 1987, the statues were lost over time, only to be rediscovered in 1881 by Karl Sester, a German archaeologist. Later, a team of German archaeologists arrived on the site, but it took some 70 years before archaeological activity began. While most of the heads have been found, there are many statues which have yet not been restored to their original condition. However, other things such as temples, bas-reliefs, and inscriptions have been found.