Where the son rises and sets differently and gives the different colors of sun. The kingdom of Kommogene was situated in the south east of Turkey, at the upper reaches of the Tigris and Eruprates.
Oaks and Plane trees were covers the hillsides.
The valleys are full of olive, walnut and Pomegranate trees, nowhere do the cornfields give such an abundant harvest you can hardly imagine that his description was given less than one hundred years ago`, by a German who traveled through this region.
Around 850 BC Kommegene appears for the first time according to records of Assyrian`s king, the population had the pay an annual tribute to him.
700 BC a Kommegenian king rebelled against to Assyrian, The Assyrian King Sargon defeated him so Kommagene became a state of Assyria.
Like many of the other small kingdoms of Asia Minor Kommegene was a melting pot of the people from east to west.
That meant Kommegenian whether he had Greek or Persia ancestors, felt close to them. They had different cultures family ties and bonds of blood were more important then belonging to the people of Kommogene.
King Mitradates did a great job to change this attitude as organizing Olympic games in honor of the ancestors.
Mitratedes married a Seleucid princess named Laodike from this marriage the fifth child was the son so they named as Laodike`s father Antiochos.
Mitratedes in need of help, Kommegene was surrounded by powers, which out numbered Kommegene several times, there for Mitratedes concluded a treaty with gods to protect to his small kingdom and keep it independent.
Secondly this treaty softened the mutual discordance of his people (Varied mixture of people coming from different origins).
As a consequence of this Mitratedes could forge a link between the different population groups in his kingdom to honor this treaty.
Mitratedes had built all over the country, small sanctuary called Temenos, each of these sanctuaries consisted of five slabs, depicting King Mitratedes shaking hands with one of the gods.
Mitratedes gave each of the five gods Greek and Persian names.
Mount Nemrut (2150 m above sea level) is Commagene’s sacred mountain located in the middle of Taurus Mountains in Southeastern Turkey in the province of Adiyaman. One of the tourist attractions of Malatya is the 94 km road to Mt. Nemrut from the city center via Puturge and Tepehan. The piece of land around the city of Adiyaman in south-eastern Anatolia was called Commagene in Greek and Roman times. The origin of the word is not known and thought to have been derived from ” Kummuhu” which was the name of a kingdom that existed in this area during the Assyrian period in about the nineth century BC.
The region became a part of the Persian empire in the 6th century BC. The persian rule lasted until the defeat of Darius III by Alexander the Great at the battle of Issus (333 BC) . However, after his unexpected death in 323 BC, his empire was shared among his generals and the lands of Commagene fell to Seleucus I Nikator (305-280) who founded his kingdom at Antioch. Commagene was set up as an independent kingdom at the beginning of the first century B.C. by Mithradates I Kallinikos. The Kingdom flourished in the reign of his son, Antiochos I Epiphanes ( 62 – 32 BC ). The Commagenian Dynastry lasted until AD 72, when their land was annexed by the Roman emperor Vespasian to the province of Syria. The hierothesion (sacred last resting place) built by Antiochos I sits on top of Mt Nemrut . It consists of a tumulus and three terraces. The tumulus was created by heaping up the fist-size pieces of stone which were left over when the statues on two of the terraces were sculpted. The tumulus is 50 m high and 150 m. in diameter. Although the inscriptions at the back of the thrones on east and west terraces record that Antiochos I had chosen the hierothesion as his sacred last resting place or a place where his body will sleep for endless eternity, sysmic research did not show any grave chamber or large cavity in the tumulus.
The three terraces of the hierothesion, hewn from the living rock, occupy the east, west and north sides of the tumulus. The east and west terraces are similar and each consists of a row of statues and three rows of reliefs. The statues and reliefs on both terraces were almost identical. In addition to the statues and reliefs the east terrace has a large altar of offerings measuring about 13.5 x 13.5 m. The presence of altar indicates that the most important ceremonies took place on this terrace. This altar was used for offering gods plenty of incense, sweet-smelling herbs, roots and for glorious sacrifices. Traces of stairs to climb up the terraces and also to reach the back of the statues to read the cult inscriptions can be distinguished. The north terrace does not have statues or reliefs. The colossal statues represent Antiochos I, the goddess Commagene, Apollon, Zeus and Heracles. Lion and eagle statues were used as the guardians of the hierothesion. Their average height is 8- 10 m. These are made of stone, too heavy and large to be carried to the muesum and remain where they were originally erected. Time has inflicted heavy damage on the sculptures- their bodies sit with their beautifully carved heads at their feet.
The reliefs which show the ancestors of Antiochos I are incomplete. Scholars believe that the hierothesion was not finished during the life of Antiochos I and was left as it was after his death. The reliefs on the western terrace show Antiochus I, shaking hands with the gods. The best time to visit Nemrut is at dawn in order to watch the sun rise. The view is really unique, while the moon sets behind, the sun rises creating a fascinating colour harmony. The beauty of the monumental sculptures as well as the splendour of the scenery are unrivalled. The site is considered as the 8th wonder of the world.