Mount Nemrut is within the borders of Büyüköz Village of Pütürge and Kahta District of Adıyaman. The tombs and monumental sculptures built by the Commagene King Antiochos I on the slopes of Mount Nemrut at 2,150 meters to show his gratitude to the gods and ancestors are some of the most magnificent remains of the Hellenistic Period.
The monumental sculptures are spread over the east, west, and north terraces. The well-preserved giant sculptures are made of limestone blocks and are 8-10 meters high. An independent kingdom was established by Mithradates I in the region, which was called Commagene in ancient times. The kingdom gained importance during the reign of his son Antiochos I (62-32 BC). Independence of the kingdom came to an end after the war against Rome was lost in 72 AD.
The summit of Mount Nemrut is not a settlement, but the tumulus and sacred areas of Antiochos. The tumulus is at a point overlooking the Euphrates River passages and plains. The tumulus, 50 meters high and 150 meters in diameter, where the king's bones or ashes were placed in the room carved into the bedrock, was protected by covering with small rock fragments. Although it was stated in the inscriptions that the king's tomb is here, it has not been discovered until today.
There are statues of Antiochos, gods and goddesses as well as lion and eagle sculptures on the east and west terraces. There is a unique lion horoscope on the west terrace. The sculptures were carved by blending Hellenistic, Persian art, and the original art of the Commagene Country. In this sense, Mount Nemrut can be called the bridge between western and eastern civilizations.
With the disappearance of the Commagene Kingdom from the stage of history, the works on Mount Nemrut were left alone for about 2000 years. In 1881, the German engineer Karl Sester, who was in charge of the region, came across the statues of Mount Nemrut and informed the German Consul in Izmir by mistaking the ruins of the Commagene Kingdom and the Greek inscriptions behind the pedestals on which the god statues were placed, thinking they were Assyrian ruins. In 1882, Otto Puchstein and Karl Sester made a study in Nemrut. Director of the Imperial Museum, Osman Hamdi Bey came with a team in 1883 and worked in Nemrut. After the Second World War, American archaeologist Theresa Goell and German Karl Doerner excavated, researched, and studied in Nemrut.
Mount Nemrut was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1987.