Trip to Commagene Kingdom.

Nemrut Mountain, Arsameia, Cendere Bridge & Karakus Tumulus

A World heritage site by UNESCO


19.April.2014 Kahta - Adiyaman / Turkey

Nemrut  is a 2,134 m high mountain in southeastern Turkey, notable for the summit where a number of large statues are erected around what is assumed to be a royal tomb from the 1st century BC.

The mountain lies 40 km north of Kahta, near Adıyaman. In 62 BC, King Antiochus I Theos of Commagene built on the mountain top a tomb-sanctuary flanked by huge statues of himself, two lions, two eagles and various Greek, Armenian, and Iranian gods. These statues were once seated, with names of each god inscribed on them. The heads of the statues have at some stage been removed from their bodies, and they are now scattered throughout the site. 

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. This may be an indication of when construction began on this monument. The eastern portion is well preserved, being composed of several layers of rock, and a path following the base of the mountain is evidence of a walled passageway linking the eastern and western terraces. Possible uses for this site is thought to have included religious ceremonies, due to the astronomical and religious nature of the monument. 

The site was excavated in 1881 by Karl Sester, a German engineer assessing transport routes for the Ottomans. Subsequent excavations have failed to reveal the tomb of Antiochus. This is nevertheless still believed to be the site of his burial.

Arsameia was founded in the Third Century BCE by the Armenian king Arsames (255–225 BC). It was then taken in 235 BC by the Seleukid Antiochus Hierax who was fleeing from his brother Seleucus II, who was later claimed as an ancestor by the Commagenian King Antiochus I. The city had already been abandoned again by Roman times, stones from local graves were used by Roman soldiers or building bridges. 

The Severan Bridge (Chabinas Bridge or Cendere Bridge, Turkish: Cendere Köprüsü), located near the ancient city Arsameia (today Eskikale), 55 km north east of Adıyaman in southeastern Turkey, is a Roman bridge.

The bridge is constructed of 92 stones, each weighing about 10 tons as a simple, unadorned, single majestic arch on two rocks at the narrowest point of the creek. At 34.2 m clear span, the structure is quite possibly the second largest extant arch bridge by the Romans. It is 120 m long and 7 m wide.


The Severan Bridge is situated within one of the most important national parks in Turkey, which contains Nemrut Dağı with the famous remains of Commagene civilization on top, declared as World Cultural Heritage site by UNESCO. In 1997, the bridge was restored. Vehicles up to 5 tons only were allowed to pass over the bridge. The bridge is now closed to vehicles, and a new road bridge has been built 500 m (550 yd) east of the old bridge.


Karakus Tumulus (Women's Monument Tomb): Located at Adıyaman-Kahta enterance in south-west of the National Park ,the Monumental Tomb was built by Commagene's King Mithradates II and was dedicated to his mother Isas. Because of the symbol of eagle on the top of the columns, it was named as Karakuş(black bird) Tumulus. There were four columns in each east, west and south directions, however today only two at east, one at west and one at south remain. On the east columns are ruins of lion and eagle statues, on the west columns, on the other hand, grounds a relief of 'shaking hands' and on the ground remain pieces of lion statue. Karakuş Tumulus determined as the entrance of Mt Nemrut is also located in the National Park.

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