It is located in the province of Adiyaman in Southeastern Anatolia Region. It was announced as Unesco World Heritage in 1988. It covers 13.827 hectares. Resource value of the national park are the archaeological remains in this area, which was known as ‘‘Commagene‘‘ in ancient times. Tumulus of Antiochus and the giant statues here, Eskikale, Yenikale, Karakus Tepe and Cendere Bridge are the cultural values in the national park. In addition to statues of Antiochus and gods and goddesses, there are lion and eagle statues in the eastern and western terraces. There is a unique horoscope with lion on its western terrace. The statues were shaped by blending the Hellenistic and Persian styles and authentic art of the Kingdom of Commagene. In this context, Mount Nemrut can be called ‘‘a bridge between the western and eastern civilizations.”
Peak of Mount Nemrut Dağı was not a settlement and it was the tumulus of Antiochus and holy places. The tumulus is at a commanding point, overlooking fords of River Euphrates and the plains. It is thought that the bones or ashes of the king were placed in the room, carved into the parent rock, and covered with the Tumulus, which is 50 meters high and 150 meters in diameter. Although the inscriptions state that the tomb of the king is here, it has not been discovered yet.
There are reliefs, which depict kings of Commagene with various gods next to the throne of gods on the western terrace. The reliefs belong to Antiochus and Commagene (Fortuna), Antiochusand Apollo-Mithras, Antiochusand Zeus-Oromasdes, Antiochusand Heracles-Artagnes. Colossal statues on the western terrace are aligned as in the eastern terrace. However, due to different topographical structure, orthostats, which have the inscriptions and reliefs of ancestors were built in the eastern altar. Stone slabs, which have the reliefs of Persian ancestors of the king, are in the southern line of the western terrace and the stone slabs, which belong to his Macedonian ancestors are opposite the throne of Gods.
The Horoscope with Lion on top of Mount Nemrut at an altitude of 2.150 meters is the oldest known horoscope. The Horoscope with Lion is a stone slab at dimensions of 1.75×2.40 meters and 0.47 meters in thickness and depicts a lion, which walks towards the right. Each of the 19 stars on the lion’s body consists of 8 beams with pointed tips. Other than small changes in their location, these stars represent the Leo constellation, depicted by Eratosthenes in his Ephemeris. When the alignment of the planets is examined, it can be seen that it corresponds to the night, the first King of Commagene Mithradates was crowned; evening of July 109 B.C.
There is a crescent, which is the symbol of the new moon, on the neck of the lion. A large Royal star (Regulus) shines right above the crescent. Regulus has been attributed to kings throughout the history of mankind. 3 Stars, each of which consist of 16 beams, can be seen on the lion. These are the planets of Mars, Mercury and Jupiter, whose names have also been carved above them in Greek. Horoscope with lion depicts a momentary position of these celestial objects.
Mount Nemrut Tumulus, built during the reign of King of Commagene, Antiochus I ( 69-34 B.C.) was included in World Heritage List based on the Convention Concerning the Protection of Cultural and Natural Heritage of the World in 1987, due to being an excellent example by exhibiting an integration of Persian, Hellenistic and Anatolian traditions in the fields of architecture and sculpture and being a unique project in the world in antiquity with its complex design and use of an advanced construction technique, which was unprecedented in that age. Its inclusion in this list demonstrated the extraordinary value of this cultural heritage, which should be protected for the benefit of all mankind.