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Mount Nemrut


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Mount Nemrut in south-eastern Turkey is over 2,100 metres high has a spectacular tumulus and three terraces built by Antiochos I of Commagene (69-31 BC).  The site is it believed to be the sacred resting place of Antiochos although archaeological research has yet to reveal any grave chamber or cavities in the huge tumulus.

West terrace of Mount Nemrut.The tumulus is made entirely from small stones left over when the statues on two of the terraces where sculpted.  Originally the tumulus was 75 metres high but has been eroded and damaged by early archaeological work.  Guinness World Records have listed the Mount Nemrut tumulus as the largest man-made mound on earth.  Monumental tumulus graves exist around other parts of Anatolia.

The east and west terraces both feature colossal statues of various gods seated on huge thrones strategically placed for sunset and sunrise.  Antiochos I is also featured in the statues and once sat alongside the gods.  The array of the gods are flanked by guardian eagle and lion statues.

 

East terrace Mount Nemrut.

 

The complete statues were around 10 metres in height and sculpted from local calcareous rock.  Today the statues are headless with heads eerily scattered around the west terrace.  The east terrace also has a large alter of offerings, that forms a great platform for people to rest after a tough climb and while waiting for sunrise.

 

More images from Mount Nemrut here.

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