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Ancient Nemrut Dag

Nemrut Dag (Mount Nemrud) is a mountain measuring 2150 meters in height. Kings of the Kommagene Dynasty from 80 BC to 72 AD ruled Adiyaman Province and its vicinity. This Kingdom, whose capital was Samosata, was founded around 80 BC by Mithridates 1, father of Antiochos 1. The kingdom's independence came to an end with its defeat by Roman legions in the last of the Kommagene wars and it became part of the Roman Province of Syria.

At its height Kommagene extended from the Taurus mountains on the north to the Euphrates river on the east and south to present day Gaziantep. The magnificent ruins on the summit of Mount Nemrud are not those of an inhabited site however. They are instead the famous tumulus (burial mound) and hierotheseion (a word that is derived from Greek and refers to the sacred burial precinct of the royal family and whose use is known only in Kommagene) of King Antiochos I of Kommagene who ruled from 69 to 36 BC.

In a cult inscription King Antiochos declares that he had the site built for the ages and generations that were to follow him as a debt of thanks to the gods and to his deified ancestors for their manifest assistance. The king also declares that his aim was to provide for the people an example of the piety that the gods commanded be shown towards the gods and towards ancestors.

The History of the Ancient Near East Electronic Compendium