General Information

Mount Nemrut is a 2134 m high mountain in southeastern Turkey, notable for the large statues that stand erected around a royal tomb from the 1st century BC.

Culture and History

The King of Commagene, Antiochus I, was the reigning power in the region before the arrival of the Romans. Due to the multiethnic structure of the Kingdom of Commagene, Antiochus had established a new, but somewhat peculiar “mixture religion”, integrating Greek, Armenian and Persian gods into one pantheon, as well as adding him and his family members into the ranks of the gods.

These huge statues on Nemrut, some reaching 9 m in height, are those of these gods, including the King himself. Each were once seated on their thrones, with the names of the gods they represented carved onto them. However, with the Christianization and later Islamization of the area, most of these structures were damaged deliberately with iconoclasm, as suggested by the broken noses of the structures. The statues are also remarkable for displaying Greek-style facial features with Persian style clothing and hairstyling.

The site is today in the UNESCO World Heritage list, among many other sites in the rich geography of Turkey.