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Nemrud Daği


The western terrace at Nemrud Daği. Photo Marco Prins. Nemrud Daği: the tomb of king Antiochus I Theos of Commagene (r.70-31 BCE), famous for its uncommon sculpture.
   
General East Terrace West Terrace

The western terrace of Nemrud Daği is essentially identical to the eastern one, although the gods, who are looking at the setting sun, are not seated on a podium. Generally speaking, the overall structure is better preserved in the east, while the sculpture is more perfect in the west.

There are several minor monuments in the west, like the lion horoscope that represents a celestial omen that took place on the accession day of Antiochus' father Mithradates I Callinicus (14 July 109). There are also several inscriptions, which mention that the people must come to this place on the day of Antiochus' birth and accession. However, it is unclear whether this has ever happened, as the monumental tomb appears to have remained unfinished, and archaeologists have not discovered the small finds one would expect to find on a site that was twice a year crowded with people.

Ancient-Warfare.com, the online home of Ancient Warfare magazine
The western terrace of Nemrud Daği. Photo Marco Prins. Eagle and lion on the western terrace of Nemrud Daği. Photo Marco Prins. One of the inscriptions on the statues on the western terrace of Nemrud Daği. Photo Marco Prins. Antiochus' Achaemenid ancestors on the western terrace of Nemrud Daği. Photo Marco Prins.
The statues, not on a podium A headless eagle and a lion One of the inscriptions on the statues Antiochus' Achaemenid ancestors
Zeus on the western terrace of Nemrud Daği. Photo Marco Prins. Zeus on the western terrace of Nemrud Daği. Photo Marco Prins. Tyche on the western terrace of Nemrud Daği. Photo Marco Prins. Antiochus on the western terrace of Nemrud Daği. Photo Marco Prins.
Zeus Zeus Tyche Antiochus
Eagle, Apollo, and Tyche on the western terrace. Photo Marco Prins. The constellation of the Lion, with the moon and several planets. Photo Marco Prins. A modern rendering of the celestial omen. The heavily weathered face of Apollo. Photo Marco Prins.
Eagle, Apollo, and Tyche on the western terrace. The constellation of the Lion, with the moon and several planets. This was the omen of the day of accession of Antiochus' father Mithradates I Callinicus, 14 July 109 BCE. A modern rendering of the celestial omen. The heavily weathered face of Apollo.
King Antiochus shaking hands with Heracles. Photo Marco Prins. King Antiochus shaking hands with Apollo. Photo Marco Prins. One of Antiochus' Achaemenid ancestors on the western terrace of Nemrud Daği. Photo Marco Prins. Zeus on the western terrace of Nemrud Daği. Photo Ab Langereis.
King Antiochus shaking hands with Heracles. There are several friezes like this one on the western terrace. King Antiochus shaking hands with Apollo.  One of Antiochus' Achaemenid ancestors Zeus again
General East Terrace West Terrace
© Jona Lendering for
Livius.Org, 2003
Revision: 13 June 2010
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