Nemrut Dağı

Sunday, 1 June 2014

My second stop in a GHF tour of Turkish archaeological sites was at mysterious Nemrut Dagi. Note that there are two mountains name Nemrut Dağı in Turkey, this is the one further to the west. The long and winding road to the mountain top, followed by a winding climb from the car park, leads you to two terraces of statues, flanking an artificial peak of crushed rocks.

IMG_5241 - Western Terrace, Nemrut Dağı 542▲ The heads have fallen off the statues and lie scattered on the ground, their immense size – each is about 2metres high – indicating the effort that went into the construction of this remote site. By the time we got to the car park we’d climbed up into the clouds, which if anything made the site look even more mysterious and impressive with the clouds whisping and drifting across the view. These heads are on the Western Terrace

IMG_5176 - column at Karakuş Tümülüs 542▲It’s quite a trip, but with a number of interesting stops en route. First there’s the Karakuş Tümülüs, built 36BC with several columns around the tumulus mound. An eagle tops this column.

IMG_5189 - Cendere River Roman bridge 542IMG_5211 - Mithridates I shakes hands with Heracles, Eski Kale (Arsameia) 271▲The Romans used the limestone blocks for their bridge, 10km away. Built in honour of Emperor Septimius Severus in the 2nd century AD the very impressive bridge spans the Cendere River,

◄ From there we skirted by the village of Eski Kahta with its intriguing looking Eski Kale castle overlooking it before we stop at Eski Kale (Arsameia). The walk up the hillside took us to a statue of Mithras (Apollo) the Sun God, with a Greek inscription. Next there’s the remains of a figure of Mithridates I Callinicus with Antiochus I before this excellent statue of Mithridates I shaking hands with Heracles and more Greek inscriptions. This is the Hellenistic world meeting the Persian one.