Mount Nemrut is an awe inspiring and enigmatic place located on one of the highest peaks of the Eastern Taurus mountain range, at an altitude of over 2,000 m above sea level, in south-east Turkey.
We know this ancient place as Nemrut Dagi – the Hierotheseion (temple-tomb and house of thracese gods) built by the late Hellenistic King Antiochos I of Commagene (69-34 BC) as a monument to himself.
The unique mountain top shrine was completely unknown to all until its discovery in 1881 by German engineer Karl Sester. At the time of the discovery, the megalithic statues were said to be intact. Archaeological excavations began for the first time in 1953 when the American School of Oriental Research conducted precise surveys of the site.
With a diameter of 145 m, the 50 m high funerary mound of stone chips is surrounded on three sides by terraces to the east, west and north directions. Two separate antique processional routes radiate from the east and west terraces.
Antiochus I’s sanctuary is flanked by huge statues 8-9 m (26-30 ft) high of himself, two lions, two eagles and various Greek, Armenian, and Iranian gods, such as Vahagn-Hercules, Aramazd-Zeus or Oromasdes (associated with the Iranian god Ahura Mazda), Bakht-Tyche, and Mihr-Apollo-Mithras.
According to this documentary, during the expedition they uncovered inscriptions written in Greek that identified the figures as various gods as well as the author who preserved his own image. However, the first lines of text containing that individual’s identity were illegible. But by combining the other inscriptions that they found, they were able to conclude this mount was built by King Antiochos I of Commagene. Not to be confused with Antiochus I Soter.
Antiochos, a just, eminent god, friend of Romans and friend of Greeks, c. 86 BC – 38 BC, ruled 70 BC – 38 BC) was an Armenian king from the Kingdom of Commagene and the most famous king of that kingdom.
The ruins of the tomb-sanctuary of Antiochus atop Mount Nemrut in Turkey were added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1987. Several sandstone bas reliefs discovered at the site contain some of the oldest known images of two figures shaking hands.
There wouldn’t be a more surreal handshake until 2000 years later when Elvis met Nixon.
While the Roman Republic was annexing territories in Anatolia, Antiochus, through skilled diplomacy, was able to keep Commagene independent from the Romans. Antiochus is first mentioned in the ancient sources in 69 BC, when Lucullus campaigned against the Armenian King Tigranes the Great. Antiochus made peace with the general Pompey in 64 BC, when Pompey successfully invaded Syria. Antiochus and Pompey then became allies. Antiochus in 59 BC was granted the toga praetexta and given official recognition from the Roman Senate as an ally to Rome. Antiochus received an ivory sceptre and an embroidered triumphal robe, and he was greeted as “king, ally and friend”. This recognition was a traditional way of recognising and rewarding the allies to Rome. From his reign onwards, monarchs from Commagene proved to be the most loyal Roman allies. When Marcus Tullius Cicero was Roman governor of Cilicia in 51 BC, Antiochus provided Cicero with intelligence of the movements of the Parthians. During the civil war between Julius Caesar and Pompey, Antiochus provided troops for Pompey.
In 38 BC, a legate of Triumvir Mark Antony, Publius Ventidius Bassus, after campaigning against the Parthians, wanted to attack Antiochus and his kingdom. Antony and Bassus were attracted by Commagene’s wealth. Yet as they were preparing to march against Commagene and its capital Samosata, Antiochus negotiated a peaceful settlement with them.
Let’s just say this guy had quite the handshake.
Antiochus I Theos of Armenian kingdom of Commagene, wearing an Armenian tiara depicting the coat of arms of Artashes (Artaxiad) dynasty (Circa 69-34 BC).
Antiochus is famous for building the impressive religious sanctuary of Nemrud Dagi or Mount Nemrut. When Antiochus reigned as king he was creating a royal cult for himself and preparing to be worshipped after his death. Antiochus was inspired to create his own cult in the Greek form of the religion Zoroastrianism. Antiochus left many Greek inscriptions revealing many aspects of his religion and explaining his purpose of action. In one inscription, Antiochus directed that his tomb should be built in a high and holy place, remote from people and close to the gods, among whom he would be numbered. Antiochus wanted his body to be preserved for eternity. The gods he worshipped were a syncretism of Greek, Armenian, and Iranian gods, such as Hercules–Vahagn, Zeus–Aramazd or Oromasdes (associated with the Iranian god Ahura Mazda), Tyche, and Apollo–Mithras. The monumental effigies at the site show both Persian and Greek iconographic influences: Persian influences can be seen in the clothes, headgear and the colossal size of the images, while the depiction of their physical features derives from Greek artistic style.
Antiochus’ tomb was forgotten for centuries, until 1883 when archaeologists from Germany excavated it. According to the inscriptions found, Antiochus appears to have been a pious person and had a generous spirit. The ruins of the royal palace have been found in another city of the kingdom, Arsameia. This palace is known as Eski Kaleor ‘Old Castle’. In Arsameia, Antiochus has left many inscriptions in Greek of his public works program and how he glorified the city.
Founded in the 3rd century BC, this cult and burial site in Mt. Nemrut National Park was the summer residence of the Commagene rulers. In addition to the remains of steps and buildings on the summit plateau (with mosaics from the 2nd century BC), there are a number of reliefs and rock-chambers on the way up to the top.
The first large stele relief depicts the god Mithras-Helios, while the middle relief shows the Commagene King Mithridates and his son Antiochus I. From here, there is a rock tunnel leading to a burial chamber. A further relief depicts Mithridates shaking hands with the demigod Hercules.
This source claims it is Mithridates shaking hands with Hercules but there are said to be several. Might be a mistake but just noting it.
These statues were once seated, with names of each god inscribed on them. Later, the heads of the statues have been removed from their bodies and most likely deliberately damaged (especially their noses). Today they are found scattered throughout the site but they have never been restored to their original locations. Additionally, after numerous earthquakes and devastation, the stone heads that look as if they have been cut off from the trunk.
The site also preserves stone slabs with bas-relief figures that are thought to have formed a large frieze. These slabs display the ancestors of Antiochus, who included Armenians, Greeks and Persians. The Hierotheseion of Antiochos I is one of the most ambitious constructions of the Hellenistic period.
A highly developed technology was used to build the colossal statues and stelae, the equal of which has not been found anywhere else for this 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.
This is admittedly built with technology not found anywhere else during the same period. Which really begs the question; does this belong to the time period they have ascribed it to? Fortunately, the builders left us a clue on the west terrace.
According to Fomenko:
This is an obvious zodiac with a horoscope. We will abbreviate it as LK.
Historians who have studied this relief write: “A lion is depicted, one of the zodiacal signs … and three planets above it” , p.166. However, historians, apparently, did not bother to conduct astronomical calculations in order to determine the date recorded on this zodiac. It is believed that so-and-so is “reliably known from historical considerations” that the “Leo Commagens” was made allegedly in “very ancient” times, and it features the horoscope of Antiochus I, the king of Commagens, allegedly born in 98 BC.
However, in this case “historical considerations” mean, in essence, nothing more than a chronological version of Scaliger-Petavius. Or its consequences. As we know, this version contains deep contradictions and requires a complete revision of [ХРОН1] – [ХРОН3], [АНХ], [НХЕ].
Therefore, we turn to the zodiac itself in order to calculate the date recorded on it, regardless of Scaligerian chronology.
I will skip ahead and present you with the possible dates he came up with:
We have already met with this horoscope in our study of the Egyptian zodiacs (see above and [НХЕ]). The same horoscope was discovered in the unfinished tomb of Senenmouth near the Valley of the Kings in Egypt. And also – on the Metternich stela. All the necessary astronomical calculations relating to this horoscope, we have already been done. Now it remains only to use them again.
The horoscope “all planets in Leo” has five solutions in the interval from -3000 to +2000 AD:
|July, 12||-1733 (1734 BC)|
|August 2||-761 (762 BC)|
|July 24||35 AD|
|August 15||1007 AD|
|September 1 (Art. Art.)||1624 AD|
I really want to give a sense of scale here and also show you some more images before moving on.
Is the cage supposed to protect this?
Picture from New Earth’s youtube channel.
Sense of the height and view.
Are ancient secrets hidden inside the mountain? Archaeologists believe that the mound hides the tomb of King Antioch, but they are not entirely convinced. In addition, there are numerous legends about the treasure hidden on the top of the mountain.
However, the truth regarding both the tomb and possible treasures has not been revealed during archaeological studies lasting for more than half a century. Even the use of dynamite, which only lowered the mound by 5 m, did not reveal anything of value.
Archaeologists have found an ancient glass shaft, which according to experts indicates a unique knowledge of advanced astronomy of people of that period. It runs towards the slope at an angle of 35 degrees and is about 150 meters long. Computer analysis has shown that two days of the year, the sun’s rays would illuminate the bottom of the shaft – once when in line with the constellation of Leo and another time when in line with Orion.
Okay, so naturally I looked for a Nimrut/Nimrod connection simply because of the phonetic similarity and Orion/Hunter connection.
Then I started thinking about the mound of stone shards and obviously wondered if there wasn’t originally some large structure.
Like some sort of tower that got destroyed and reduced to sand.
The only thing I found on wiki was someone’s comment:
Tower of Babel, Nimrod, Nemrud-Nemrut
This article should incorporate a discussion of King Nimrod, and the possiblity of an etymological connection between Nimrod and Nemrut. cs (talk) 05:18, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
This person made the claim it is actually Nimrod depicted here
On the West Terrace of Mount Nimrod (or NemrutDagi), sunset light falls on a 40-ton head of Greek god “Zeus” (Nimrod according to Turkish people) capped with a Persian tiara.
What is recorded in Gen. 10 about Nimrod supplies the key to the first half of Gen. 11 which tells of the building of the Tower of Babel. Gen. 10:10 informs us that the beginning of Nimrod’s kingdom was Babel. The Greek form of the Hebrew word bavelor Babel is closely allied and probably derived from the Akkadianbabiluor “gate of God.” Afterwards, because of the judgment which the Lord there inflicted, Babel came to mean “confusion (by mixing)”. That at the time Nimrod founded Babel this word signified “the gate (the figure of official position) of God”, intimates that he not only organized an imperial government over which he presided as king, but that he also instituted a new and idolatrous system of worship. Nimrod demanded and received Divine honors. In all probability, it was at this point that idolatry was introduced.3
About 447 KM away is Nimrut Volcano
Locals link the name of the volcano with the legendary ruler Nimrod, who is credited with the construction of the Tower of Babel. Turkish chronicles of the 16th century reproduce a local legend as follows:
Native believe that Nemruz used to spend the winters around and the summers on this mountain. For this purpose, he had a castle and a palace built on the summit. He used to live and spend lots of time there. He fell victim to God’s wrath and got caught. Consequently, the god let this mountain, the height of which was not less than 2000 zira collapse and sink 1500 zira. This sinking created a lake of 5000 zira wide.
Important points and closing thoughts:
This is supposed to be a burial site and Antiochus is believed to be mummified below but nobody has bothered looking yet…because the archeologists are not entirely convinced.
Once again we see the recurring theme where a site went undiscovered for a long period of time as this site was not rediscovered until 1881 or 1883 depending on the source. (similar situation: Pompeii)
During that expedition or as a result of it they were able to piece together who built this hill and when. And why.
Excavations didn’t start until 1953.
The techniques do not match with the techniques used during the period this site has been dated by archaeologists. They openly admit this since there is no good explanation.
The dates don’t appear to match the constellation inscription on the lion according to Fomenko.
Based on the research done by others on this site I don’t really believe the mound of stone shards was the original blueprint.
The builders displayed precise knowledge of astronomy judging how the glass shaft was built.
Could it have originally been a temple, a tower, a pyramid? Or has it always looked this way?
I will not add more speculation because I am excited to hear other opinions!
I hope you have enjoyed learning about this location as much as I have. Thank you for reading and, of course, thank you to the original authors and researchers.
Mount Nemrut: ‘Throne Of The Gods’ – Mysterious Royal Tomb Surrounded By Gigantic Sculptures | Ancient Pages
Mount Nemrut – Wikipedia
Antiochus I Theos of Commagene – Wikipedia
12 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in the Mount Nemrut Region | PlanetWare
Kingdom of Commagene – Wikipedia
Nemrut (volcano) – Wikipedia
The lost Kingdom of Commagene
Armenian Kingdom of Commagene (a short analysis) – PeopleOfAr
The Antiochus of Commagene Lion Horoscope
ДРЕВНИЕ ЗОДИАКИ ЕГИПТА И ЕВРОПЫ. Датировки 2003-2004 годов. Г.В.Носовский, А.Т.Фоменко.
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