Trip Start Oct 02, 2010
14Trip End Oct 10, 2011
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The road to the mountain was too small for the bus, so we had to go there till a point with a small van and continue the trip by donkey or feet.
At the last minute I decided to skip the mountain trip and go the hotel room to recover. (believe me it was a wise decision afterward.)
About Mount Nemrut:
The mountain lies 40 km north of Kahta, near Adiyaman
The pattern of damage to the heads 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 tall and 152 m 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
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.
When 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. 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. 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.