Nimrod

In the following year Karl Sester returned to Nemrut Dagi; he was accompanied by archaeologist Otto Puchstein and together they started the first scientific research and excavations.

BOOK: Reisen in Kleinasien und Nordsyrien-ausgeführt im Auftrage der Kgl. Preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, beschrieben von Karl Humann und Otto Puchstein.
———–
Dörner became interested in Nemrut, and in 1938 he conducted research with the architect R. Naumann. The two young researchers published the results of their investigations under the name of BOOK: “Forschungen in Kommagene” (Research in Commagene)
———–

Kommagene : Neue Entdeckungen der Archäologie – Götterthrone und Königsgräber am Euphrat.

https://www.zvab.com/Kommagene-Neue-Entdeckungen-Arch%C3%A4ologie-G%C3%B6tterthrone-K%C3%B6nigsgr%C3%A4ber/22419791101/buch#&gid=1&pid=1

The expanded edition in 1987 of kommagene: neue entdeckungen der archeologie gotterthrone was this book: Der Thron der Götter auf dem Nemrud Dağ.

https://www.amazon.de/Thron-G%C3%B6tter-Nemrud-Dag-Kommagene/dp/3785702779

 


https://www.amazon.co.uk/Nemrud-Dagi-Hierothesion-Excavations-Illustrations/dp/1575060159/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1521038198&sr=1-1&keywords=9781575060156

 

———————————-

“Le Tumulus de Nemroud Dagh” (1st edition 1883, 2nd edition 1987).

———————————
Extensive information can be found here on THIS website, of which article is below: http://nemrut.org.tr/en/about-nemrut/

Overview

The Hierothesion of Mount Nemrut, located on one of the important crossing points on the Upper Euphrates valley, was constructed during reign of King Antiochus I, who ruled during the most prominent period of the Commegene Kingdom [163(?) or 80(?)BC – 72 AD]. The kingdom’s boundaries spread from Kahramanmaraş to the west and Malatya and the Taurus Mountains to the north. Today, the Tumulus of Mount Nemrut is located in the town of Kahta within the boundaries of Adıyaman Province.

Spread over an area of 2.6 hectars (26.000m2), the Hierothesion is comprised of a conical tumulus sloped at 30-35 degrees at the center, and three terraces surrounding it on the west, east and north sides, together with processional ways leading to the tumulus from the northeast and the southwest. The highest point of the tumulus is at 2206 m, while its diameter is 145 m. The east and west terraces are alike, however the north terrace is completely different from those two.

In the east and west terraces, there are five limestone god statues with their backs turned to the tumulus, flanked by guardian animals, lions (A and I) and eagles (B and H), on each side. In each of these terraces, the gods situated between the guardian animals are, from left to right: Antiochus (C), Commagene/ Tyche (D), Zeus/ Oromasdes (E), Apollon/ Mithras-Helios-Hermes (F) ve Herakles/ Artagnes-Ares (G).

At the back of the statues, identical in both terraces, is Antiochus’ will (nomos), which is inscribed in ancient Greek, on which the gods are referred to with their Greek and Persian names. Besides the colossal statues in the terraces, there are stelae plinths in front of the altars, situated symmetrically in the east terrace, and along the width of the terrace in the west terrace due to its narrowness.

In the east terrace, there is a square platform, which Goell refers to as the stepped pyramid, but other researchers prefer to call the altar. In the west terrace, there is a series of stelae with dexiosis scenes and the Lion Horoscope, which is assumed to show the date of construction of the tumulus.

The north terrace, situated to the northwest of the tumulus, is like a narrow rectangle and contains sandstone plinths. Next to these plinths lie collapsed stelae which bear no inscriptions or reliefs. There are two gaps in the plinth series of the north terrace, one of which – the one on the west – is interpreted by Goell as the entrance gate to the site from the Processional Way.

World Heritage

UNESCO Documents

Mount Nemrut Tumulus is one of the sites in Turkey inscribed into the UNESCO World Heritage List. The World Heritage List, which started to be made in 1978, currently (2015) includes 1007 monuments/sites from different countries, 197 of them are natural, 31 of them are mixed (natural & cultural) and 779 of which are listed as cultural properties (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/).

Mount Nemrut Tumulus was included on the prestigious UNESCO World Heritage List in 1987 on the basis of criteria I, III and IV, with the reference number 448. Features that ensure Mount Nemrut Tumulus to be listed as a World Heritage are:

“Being an important ensemble of architectural and sculptural monuments bearing witness to the fusion of Persian, Hellenistic and Anatolian traditions of styles; its complex design and colossal scale combined to create a project unequalled in the ancient world; the high technology used which was seen nowhere else in that age”.

The web address http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/448 of the UNESCO World Heritage List presents a short definition of Nemrut and its location with few photographs in the gallery. The short definition given there is shown below:

NEMRUT DAĞI

tr Turkey
Date of Inscription: 1987
Criteria: (i)(iii)(iv)
Property: 13850 ha
Adıyaman İli
N38 02 11.8 E38 45 49.3
Reference Number: 448

Brief Description

The mausoleum of Antiochus I (69–34 B.C.), who reigned over Commagene, a kingdom founded north of Syria and the Euphrates after the breakup of Alexander’s empire, is one of the most ambitious constructions of the Hellenistic period. The syncretism of its pantheon, and the lineage of its kings, which can be traced back through two sets of legends, Greek and Persian, is evidence of the dual origin of this kingdom’s culture.

There are three main documents on Nemrut in the website of UNESCO World Heritage Centre, under the title “Documents” (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/448/documents/). The names and contents of these documents can be obtained here.

3.1.1.2. Legal Status

Here you can find information and documents on the national and international status of the Tumulus of Mount Nemrut. Related national and international documents and decisions are given below in chronological order (in Turkish).

1986.PDF

1987.PDF

1988.PDF

1989.PDF

2001.PDF

2002.PDF

 

Excavations and Research

The Anatolian Kingdom of Commagene, which is not mentioned in ancient sources, did not attract researchers’ attention until the discovery of the cult area (Hierothesion) at Mount Nemrut in 1881. After the discovery of the Tumulus of Mount Nemrut by Karl Sester in 1881, Nemrut and the Commagene Kingdom became a research topic for many scholars and scientists, both Turkish and foreign, followed by excavations and restoration work at Nemrut and publications concerning their results. These studies were compiled in the Nemrut archive established by METU within the context of CNCDP and are presented chronologically below.

1881, Karl Sester and Otto Puchstein: Discovery of the Tumulus
This sacred place (Hierothesion) at Mount Nemrut was first discovered in 1881 by Karl Sester. After this discovery, with the information provided by Sester, the Nemrut Tumulus attracted the attention of German authorities, leading to the first investigation by the archaeologist Otto Puchstein and Karl Sester in 1882.

1882, Osman Hamdi Bey and Osgan Efendi: The First Turkish Team at Nemrut

Osman Hamdi Bey, appointed as the director of Müze-i-Hümayun (Museum of the Ottoman Empire) in 1881, and Osgan Efendi, sculptor and instructor at Sanayi-i Nefise Mektebi (School of Fine Arts), were assigned, as part of an Ottoman mission in 1882, to study the monuments of Mount Nemrut and shed light on various questions on this subject. The authors presented the results of their research, which included partial excavations and comparisons with the findings of Puchstein, in the French publication “Le Tumulus de Nemroud Dagh” (1st edition 1883, 2nd edition 1987).

1882, Karl Humann and Otto Puchstein: From Anatolia to North Syria

In June 1882, the same year as Osman Hamdi Bey and Osgan Efendi, Karl Humann and Otto Puchstein travelled to Nemrut to conduct research (Dörner, 1999: 32, 40). The latter two published the results of their research on the Commagene region and archaeological findings in northern Syria in the two volume work entitled “Reisen in Kleinasien und Nordsyrien-ausgeführt im Auftrage der Kgl. Preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, beschrieben von Karl Humann und Otto Puchstein” (Travels in Anatolia and Northern Syria—An Assignment of the Prussian Royal Academy. Related by: Karl Humann and Otto Puchstein) in 1890, almost 10 years after their field research. These two volumes cover research conducted at Mount Nemrut between 1882 and 1883. We would like to thank Istanbul German Archaeological Institute and Prof. Scott Redford for providing us a copy of this book.

Research interrupted

After Humann and Puchstein’s publication in 1890, research concerning Mount Nemrut and Commagene was interrupted for many years. Field research focusing on Mount Nemrut did not recommence until the establishment of the Turkish Republic (1923), even until 1938. However, beginning in 1896, certain researchers did publish their various studies on Antiochus’ Hierothesion (Sanders, 1996: 30-31).

1954-1958 and 1984, Karl F. Dörner at Nemrut

Starting from 1936-37, Dörner became interested in Nemrut, and in 1938 he conducted research with the architect R. Naumann. The two young researchers published the results of their investigations under the name of “Forschungen in Kommagene” (Research in Commagene) in 1939 (Dörner, 1999: 138-149). In 1951, after World War II, Dörner returned to the region. Dörner’s priority was to excavate Arsameia, while his interest Nemrut continued. In the same year, an American team comprising Theresa Goell and Albrecht Goetze arrived at Nemrut. These two groups agreed to carry out collaborative research at Mount Nemrut and Arsameia (Dörner, 1999: 178). Subsequently, Dörner and Goell worked together at Nemrut from 1953 to 1956 uninterruptedly, and for the last time in 1958.

In 1984, certain repairs were implemented at Nemrut by Dörner, a group of German researchers and experts from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. In 1984, Dörner’s (1911-1992) health declined and this was his last active year at Nemrut.

Dörner related his research at Nemrut and Arsameia in various articles and publications. The most important among these was ““Kommagene-Götterthrone und Königsgraber am Euprat–Neue Entdeckungen der Archaologie“ (1981). In 1987, the expanded edition of this work entitled “Der Thron der Götter auf dem Nemrud Dağ” was translated into Turkish and published by the Turkish History Institution (Türk Tarih Vakfı).

1956-1973, Queen of the Mountain: Theresa Goell

Goell (1901-1985) became interested in Mount Nemrut after 1939 and she arrived at Mount Nemrut for the first time in 1947, followed by another visit in 1951 (Sanders, 1996: XXIII, XXIV). She worked with Dörner between 1951-1956; later, in 1958, 1961, 1963, 1964 and 1967 she worked at Nemrut and Dörner’s excavations at Arsameia.

During the first years of her research, Goell focused primarily on excavation and documentation work, while between 1954 and 1956, she carried out excavations in search of Antiochos’ tomb inside the tumulus (Sanders, 1996: 44, 47). Unsuccessful in these attempts, Goell continued with geophysical research at Nemrut in 1961 and Samsat excavations between 1964-1974. In 1973, Goell restored the fire altar but she could not continue working at Nemrut due to her age and various health problems.

Until her death at the age of 84, Goell was able to publish only a few articles about Nemrut. In 1983, she asked Donald H. Sanders to compile the results of her work (Sanders, 1996: XVII). After 13 years of meticulous work, Sanders compiled Goell’s work and prepared a two-volume work in English entitled “Nemrud Dağı:The Hierothesion of Antiochus I of Commagene” published in 1996. This work is the most comprehensive publication on Nemrut to this day.

1958, Ara Güler at Nemrut with a French television

During the filming of a documentary on civilizations by a French television, Ara Güler, with prior knowledge of the existence of the Nemrut Tumulus, suggests that they film the Tumulus of Mount Nemrut, and accompanies them to the tumulus, where he takes his own photographs. News of this visit in 1958 is published by more than 100 arts and news magazines throughout the world, especially in Germany and France. (Kürkçüoğlu, S. S., 2002, http: //www.hezarfen.net/paralax/056sabri.htm).

Prof. Dr. Sencer Şahin Şahin (1939-2014), Dörner’s student, conducted petrographic research at one monument under the guidance of Dr. B. Fitzner from the Aachen Technical University during the first season of field work in 1987. Later, Şahin carried out geophysical research to determine the location of the tomb chamber and worked on the reconstruction and presentation of the site. Şahin and German researchers presented the results of their research at many venues. Another important contribution of Şahin is the translation of the nomos of King Antiochos I into Turkish, which was published in 1998 under the name “Tanrılar Dağı Nemrut / Mountain of the Gods”.

1990, İbrahim Demirel at Nemrut

In 1990, the photographer Ibrahim Demirel travelled to the region and visited Mount Nemrut too. As a result of this visit, Demirel’s archives now contain approximately 250 color slides including photographs of most of the sculptures and their details. The METU-CNCDP team extends many thanks to Mr. Demirel who permitted some of his photographs to be presented in this website.

Publications and documentaries on Nemrut

Publications on Nemrut began to increase toward the 1990’s with special attention from Arkeoloji ve Sanat Yayınları / Archeology and Art Publications directed by Nezih Başgelen. The first publication on Nemrut after the establishment of the Republic was the work of Osman Hamdi Bey and Osgan Efendi in 1883, a French book entitled “Le Tumulus de Nemroud Dagh”, which was reprinted in 1987. This publication has not yet been translated into Turkish.

This book was followed by the translation F.K. Dörner’s second edition of “Der Thron der Götter auf dem Nemrud Dağı” (1987) into Turkish by Vurak Ülkü, which was published by the Turkish History Institution (Türk Tarih Kurumu) with the title “Nemrud Dağı’nın Zirvesinde Tanrıların Tahtları” in 1990.

In 1998, Arkeoloji ve Sanat Yayınları also began to publish other books on Nemrut including several written or edited by Nezih Başgelen, such as “Tanrılar Dağı Nemrut / Mountain of the Gods” (1998), “Havadan Nemrut / Nemrut from the Air” (2000) and “Nemrut Dağı, Keşfi, Kazıları, Anıtları / Mount Nemrut, its Discovery, Excavations and Monuments” (2003). Gülcan Acar also edited a book entitled “Nemrud” (2004) which contains her own photographs.

Among these, those most important publications about the history of research at Nemrut include “Tanrılar Dağı Nemrut / Mountain of the Gods” (1998) edited by archaeologist Nezih Başgelen, which contains the Turkish translation of the Nomos and “Havadan Nemrut / Nemrut from the Air” (2000) which documents Nemrut with aerial photographs.

2001-2003, Herman Brijder and Maurice Crijns: Crijns’ passion for Nemrut

Crijns, who became interested in MountNemrut after 1980s, established the International Nemrud Foundation (INF) in 1998. In 2000, Nemrut was inscribed on the “World Monuments Watch List of 100 Most Endangered Sites”, a list issued by the World Monuments Fund (WMF) every two years. A year later, WMF declared its support for INF’s Nemrut Project. The same year, INF signed an agreement with Prof. Brijder from the University of Amsterdam, appointing him as project director for Nemrut. In 2001, a team directed by Brijder and Crijns was granted permission for research with the support of INF. Between 2001-03, the team carried out documentation and research in Nemrut. 2001 works, carried out in collaboration with WMF, were published as “Mission Report 2002”. However, after October 2002, WMF officially withdrew from the project. Brijder-Crijns team continued its research at Nemrut between 2002 and 2003, but its permission was cancelled in 2004 by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism based on the decision of the Adana Conservation Council which promulgated a holistic approach to MountNemrut.

Documentaries and virtual simulation based visual material and films

Besides research, excavations and restoration work supervised by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, various independent groups have also produced various publications, documentaries as well as visual material and films on Nemrut based on virtual simulation.

Throne of the Gods Nemrut

This documentary, prepared by director Tolga Örnek in 2000, was sponsored by Türkiye İş Bankası (Türkiye İş Bank), supported by İstanbul Menkul Kıymetler Borsası (İstanbul Stock Exchange) and Çalık Holding and produced by Ekip Film. This film, which includes old views from Goell’s archive as well as interviews with researchers such as Donald H. Sanders and Sencer Şahin, stands out as the most comprehensive documentary on MountNemrut. It has received three important awards:

  • 2001 International Film and Video Festival (USA) (First place in History and Biography),
  • 2001 Avşa Film Festival (Documentary, first place),
  • 2002 Torento Film Festival (Rai Television Award).

Three-dimensional views prepared by Learning Sites, Inc.

The film “Tanrıların Tahtı Nemrut” (Throne of the Gods Nemrut) incorporates original visual material to make a virtual simulation of the Tumulus of Mount Nemrut by the American firm Learning Sites Inc. based on Donald H. Sanders’ research on Theresa Goell’s archives. Learning Sites Inc., founded towards the end of the 1980’s in the United States, is a pioneer in applying digital realism to archaeological sites and specializes in creating reliable archaeological visualization for interactive education and research. (http://www.learningsites.com/Frame_layout01.htm).

Hidden Tomb of Antiochus

This documentary, filmed in 2000 by Digital Ranch of California for the American History Channel was first televised in 2001. It was directed by Laura Verklan, with Tufan Turanlı as the cameraman. This film presented Antiochos I and his mausoleum, as well as Arsameia, the CendereBridge and AdıyamanMuseum, together with Zeugma and Şanlıurfa as settlements within the Commagene region. ( http://tv.nytimes.com/show/49845/Hidden-Tomb-of-Antiochus/overview)

A short film presented at the EXPO 2000 Fair

The main theme of the Turkish Pavilion prepared by the Turkish Ministry of Tourism for the EXPO 2000 Fair in Hannover was the Tumulus of Mount Nemrut; however the virtual simulation of Nemrut was not based on any scientific research. The Turkish pavilion was designed and executed by INFOTRON ( http://www.infotron.com.tr/kurumsal.html).

“Queen of the Mountain”

This documentary, directed by Martha Goell Lubell, relates the biography of Theresa Goell. Produced in 2005, it conveys Goell’s rebellion against limitations imposed by her family and the period, her interest in archaeology, followed by her visit to Commagene after the age of 50 and her personal devotion to Nemrut. This film, which includes visual material based on Goell’s archival films and virtual simulations, was shown at the Brattleboro Women’s Films Festival, and received the “best film” award at the Archaeology Channel Film and Video Festival.

Mount Nemrut Scientific Advisory Committee is established

After the suspension of research at Nemrut in 2004, the Mount Nemrut Scientific Advisory Committee (Nemrut Dağı Bilimsel Danışma Kurulu – NTBDK) was established by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism in June 2005, with the aim of guiding future work at Nemrut. The Committee defines future research to be carried out at the Tumulus of Mount Nemrut.

METU’s recommendation for a program concerning Nemrut…

In March 2006, taking into consideration the history and present condition of the Tumulus of Mount Nemrut, the Commagene Conservation Development Program (CNCDP) was prepared by METU, which defined necessary research and field work to be carried out in Nemrut at a macro scale, utilizing new legal devices. Presented to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the CNCDP was approved by the NTBDK on August 15, 2006 and a protocol was signed by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and METU, initiating a new phase of research and field work in Nemrut.

Return to top

History of Nemrut

Strategically important due to the presence of the Euphrates and Taurus mountain passes, the region between the Euphrates, Tigris and Nile rivers, mostly referred to as the Fertile Crescent and where Commagene Kingdom is located, has been inhabited from the Paleolithic period to the present day (Kökten, 1947: 469; Ataman, 1990: 197-207; Dignas & Filges, 1991: 7). As a region allowing access to the Anatolian Plateau from Northern Syria and Upper Mesopotamia, it has always been the target of dominant powers (Strabon, XI, 12.4, 11,14.2; Charlesworth, 1924: 76; Dignas & Filges, 1991: 7).

Emergence of the CommageneKingdom: 163(?)-72 BC

The region, a large part of which remains within the borders of the Province of Adıyaman, was ruled first by the Hittites (1650-1340 BC), later by the Hurri and Mitanni (1300-1200 BC), Late Hittite Principalities (1200-890 BC), Assyrians (850-605 BC) and the Babylonian Kingdom. The Kummuh-Kummuhu Kingdom, established after 1200BC, was considered the founder of the Commagene Kingdom from the 4th century BC onward. The region went under Seleucid rule between 305-63 BC (Appianos, Syria, 55, 62; XI, 8, 48-49). It is thought that, Ptolemaios, rebelling against the Seleucids in 163BC, established the Commagene Kingdom (Diadoros, XXXI, 19a; Sullivan, 1975: 31-42; Sanders, 1996: 19). After Ptolemaios, Samos II (130-100 BC), founder of the capital Samosata (Syme, 1995: 10, 41, 71; Mommsen, 1909: 349) and Mithradates Kallinikos I (c. 100-69 BC) were able to defend their state through political marriages with the Seleucids, in the south, and the Parthians, in the east (Dignas & Filges, 1991: 9). Mithridathes Kallinikos I, related to the Macedonian Alexander the Great on his maternal side and the Persian King Darius on his paternal side, gave his kingdom the name Commagene, meaning “community of genes” in ancient Greek, in reference to the unity of the beliefs, culture and traditions of their eastern and western forefathers (Dörner, 1975: 27; Wagner, 2000: 1).

The Period of King Antiochos I: 69-36 BC

King Antiochos I, who succeeded Mithradates I, elevated the CommageneKingdom to its highest economic and cultural level despite vexing political relations between the Roman and Parthian Empires. The monumental tombs constructed at MountNemrut and in Arsemia are edifices of this period. During this period, the CommageneKingdom, acquiring the title “Friend of the Romans” due to its support for the Roman Consul, attained its widest borders. Commagene, known for its fertile lands during the ancient period, spread until Kahramanmaraş, Göksun and Pınarbaşı to the west and Malatya and the Taurus Mountains to the north, and extended as far as Upper Mesopotamia and the west side of the Upper Euphrates, the Euphrates river to the east, and Nizip and Antakya to the south.

After King Antiochos I

After King Antiochos I, Commagene was ruled by Mithradates II (36-20 BC) and Antiochos III (20 BC-17 AD) and reached its second brilliant period from a military and economic standpoint during the reign of Antiochos Epiphanes (28-72 AD) owing to renewed positive relations with the Roman emperors (Wagner, 1975: 73). However, when in 72 AD Paetus, the governor of Syria, accused King Antiochos IV with treason against the Romans, the lands of the Commagene kingdom were conquered and divided into four parts (Samosata, Caesarea, Germenicae, Perrhe ve Doliche), to be incorporated within the Roman province of Syria (Suetonius, Caligula: 14,3; Dio, LIX: 27, 2f;, 1992: Magie, 1950, Vol. II: 1367).

Following the weakening of Roman dominance in the region in the 5th century AD, Adıyaman and environs fell under Byzantine, Ummayad, Abbasid and Arab rule, and parallel to the arrival of Turks in Anatolia, it was transferred to the Seljuq state (1085-1230). After the Mongol (1243), Mamluq (1277) and Dulkadiroğlu (1354) rules, the region was conquered by the Ottomans in 1521.

Return to top

Architectural Features

The Hierothesion at Mount Nemrut, constructed during the reign of the Commagene King Antiochos I (69-36 BC), was surrounded in antiquity by Melitene (Malatya) to its northwest, Pötürge to the north, Arsameia of the Euphrates (today Gerger) to its east, Samosata (the capital of Commagene) to the south, Perre (Pirin Village of Adıyaman) and Arsemia of Kahta (today known as Old Castle) to the southwest.

The area, approximately 2,6 ha, is composed of a conical tumulus with a 30-35 degree incline and three terraces to its east, west and north. The tumulus is 2206 m in height and 145 m in diameter. In ancient times, this area was accessed by two Sacred Processional Ways from the northeast and southwest, and another road to the north reaching a water source. These roads, identified by Goell with the help of inscribed stelae, can still be observed.

Terraces

While the east and west terraces were organized in a similar manner, the north terrace differs completely. The level of the east terrace is 11 m higher than the west terrace. At the east terrace, which appears to have been organized symmetrically, on either side of the giant statues resting against the tumulus, are stone plinths with stelae on top as well as the altar which was defined by Goell as a stepped pyramid.

At the foot of the narrower and asymmetrical west terrace, which was widened at its west side with a retaining wall, there are colossal sculptures flanked by stele plinths with altars at the south and west sides. There are four dexiosis (handshake) stelae and a Lion Horoscope at the west terrace. These were transported to the Temporary Restoration Laboratory in 2003.

At the east and west terraces, there are limestone statues of King Antiochos with four gods, and a pair of protective lion and eagle sculptures at each side. These giant sculptures, situated on top of platforms at a higher level, create a monumental effect. The god sculptures are mentioned with their Greek and Persian names, in reference to Commagene’s unifying position between east and west.

In the form of a long, narrow rectangle, the north terrace houses a series of sandstone plinths and stelae without any reliefs or inscriptions. Among the two gaps in the series of bases, the one at the west was interpreted by Goell as an entrance gate to this area from the Sacred Processional Way.

Nomos

Among the bases of gods’ sculptures at the east and west terraces of Tumulus is an inscription (nomos) with Antiochos’ testament carved with Greek letters. Aside from differences in spelling, both inscriptions are identical in content. The inscription, deciphered by Puchstein in 1882, was erected by Antiochos I (69-36 BC), who linked his lineage to Persian and Macedonian ancestors, so that

“His body, which remained in excellent condition until old age, to rest in peace after his spirit, loved by the gods, is sent to the throne of Zeus-Oromasdes in the sky”

Section IV, Line 205

“WHOEVER SHALL PRESUME TO RESCIND OR TO INJURE OR GUILEFULLY TO MISINTERPRET THE JUST TENOR OF THIS REGULATION OR THE HEROIC HONORS WHICH AN IMMORTAL JUDGEMENT HAS SANCTIONED, HIM THE WRATH OF THE DAEMONS AND OF ALL THE GODS SHALL PURSUE, BOTH HIMSELF AND HIS DESCENDANTS, IRRECONCILABLY, WITH EVERY KIND OF PUNISHMENT”

Lion Horoscope

At the west terrace of the Nemrut Tumulus, a Lion Horoscope was found among sandstone stelae depicting scenes of King Antiochos I shaking hands with the gods (dexiosis). Unnoticed during Puchstein’s visit to Nemrut in 1881, these were discovered by Osman Hamdi Bey in 1882 during his excavations. For many years they remained as found until Dörner placed them at the west terrace in 1984 after reparing them with concrete and epoxy (Sanders, 1996: 163). Deteriorated in time, the stelae were transported to the Temporary Restoration Laboratory in 2003.

Dating works on the Lion Horoscope

The Lion Horoscope, approximately 1.75 m high and 2.40 m wide, is the earliest known Greek horoscope thus far discovered. The Lion’s body is depicted from the right side and its face from the front. There are 19 stars carved on its body and surrounding areas as well as a crescent at its neck. The names of Mars, Mercury and Jupiter are inscribed in Greek letters above the larger three stars on the back of the lion.

After its discovery, the monument attracted the attention of many researchers due to its historical characteristics and originality. They usually linked the date on the horoscope with the exact date for the construction of the tumulus. Hypotheses concerning the date depicted on the Horoscope are given on the table below.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: