Mount Nemrud

Mount Nemrud (also spelled Nemrut) is located in the Eastern Taurus mountain range in southeast Turkey. The mountain is about 7,000 feet tall and is one of the highest peaks in the

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Mount Nemrud (also spelled Nemrut) is located in the Eastern Taurus mountain range in southeast Turkey. The mountain is about 7,000 feet tall and is one of the highest peaks in the region. 

 

As of 1987, Mount Nemrud is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, helping to protect and preserve its historical relevance for future generations.[i] 

 

The Hierotheseion temple and funerary mound was built by King Antiochos I of Commagene during the Hellenistic period. The monument unto himself includes a pantheon, terrace paths, sculptural depictions of deities, and several other sculptural reliefs of the king's Greek and Persian lineage and some animals. The construction of this site is considered to be the most technologically advanced for the Hellenistic period. Some of the stone blocks used to create the pantheon weigh as much as 9 tonnes and had to be brought up a mountainside for construction.[ii]

 

The Mount Nemrud monuments are fairly well preserved, with environmental erosion being the greatest present concern to their existence. Several sculpture heads have broken and rolled a distance down the hill. In the past, some destruction also occurred to the sculptures -- likely due to iconoclasm from opposing cultures. The gods represented are known by their inscriptions as the god Apollo-Mithras-Helios-Hermes, the goddess Tyche of Commagene, the god Zeus-Oromasdes, Antiochos himself, and the god Heracles-Artagnes-Ares. Several reliefs also depict Antiochos shaking hands with some of the deities.iii 

 

In 1953, extensive archaeological excavation of the site was undertaken. In 2009, plans were made to build visitors centers along the entrance routes.[iv]

 

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[i] "Nemrut Dag." UNESCO World Heritage List. Retrieved 2014-04-23.

 

[ii] "Nemrut Dag." UNESCO World Heritage List. Retrieved 2014-04-23.

 

[iii] "Nemrut Dag." UNESCO World Heritage List. Retrieved 2014-04-23.

 

[iv] "Nemrut Dag." UNESCO World Heritage List. Retrieved 2014-04-23.

The nearest airport to Mount Nemrud is Adiyaman or Malatya, both of which are over two hours drive away. To visit Mount Nemrud you will need to hire a minibus, taxi, or rental car. An additional, although more expensive, option is to take a helicopter tour. The nearest town is Kahta. Visitors on foot will also need to be prepared for some hiking in a steep desert-like environment.

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