Republic Of Turkey Ministry Of Development Southeastern Anatolia Project Regional Development Administration


The cultural development in Adiyaman starting back to the data of Palanli cave had been reached to the splendid archaeological area in the world with the mausoleum which was built on to Nemrud Mountain by Antiochos I, the king of the Kommagene. The mausoleum which was built by the king on to the peak of the highest Mountain also signifies the importance of the cult of rulers for the kingdom. Such archaeological sites as Karakus Tumulus, Arsameia and the antic city of Pirin near Adiyaman have plenty of remains from the Kingdom of Kommagene surviving to our time. Samsat, now remaining under Ataturk Dam Lake was once the capital of the Kommagene Kingdom and was the important cities in this period. Cendere Bridge, Sofraz Tumulus and Sesonk date back to the Roman era. The New Castle and military building as structures remaining from the Mameluk period. The remains in Besni are from the Ottoman era.


Adiyaman, an administrative province in Turkey with a surface area of 7, 614 km2 covers plateaus extending from the slopes of Southeastern Taurus Range to the Euphrates. According to the General Census of Population (2000) the population temporary results of the province is 623,811. Beside Adiyaman (Center) Besni, Celikhan, Gerger, Golbasi, Kahta, Samsat, Sincik and Tut are the district of the province. The Euphrates, the most productive river in Turkey flows along the southern and eastern borders of the province.

Agriculture and livestock are the main economic activities in Adiyaman and Cultivated land involved about a quarter of the territory of the province. Leading crops include wheat, barley and corn. Pistachio orchards have now replaced vineyards, once an important source of income.

Upon the completion of GAP, beside the culture fishing, in Adiyaman, textile, milk, feed and meat processing and tourism investments will take place.


The castle rises over a hill at the center of the city. It was constructed by Mansur Ibn-i Cavene, an Emevid military chief, to protect the city from the Byzantine attacks. The surroundings of the castle were later inhabited, the castle remaining as the "core" of the settlement and given the name "Hisn’i Mansur" meaning "the Castle of Mansur." The walls which are still standing, today are were built in more recent times. They are not original.

Cendere Bridge


The bridge over Cendere stream on the road from Kahta to Sincik was constructed by the XVI Legion during the reign of Septimus Severus (193-211 AD). It is known that the bridge originally had four columns dedicated, respectively, to Septimus Severus himself, his wife Julia Donna and their sons Caracalla and Getta. But the column dedicated to Getta was removed after his brother Caracalla had killed him.

Cendere Bridge


Mount Nimrod remains within the boundaries of Karadut village, Kahta District (of Adiyaman province) 54 km to the north of Kahta. The mountain is 2,150 meters high and considered as the "8th Spectacle of the World" with its unmatched statues of 8-10 meters in height, pyramid at 2,000 meters high yet undiscovered mausoleum, the oldest and biggest horoscope system in the world, stone inscriptions extending along 500 meters and other pieces of combined Greek and Persian style.


The Kingdom of Kommagene once ruled in that part of Southeastern Anatolia remaining between the Southeastern Taurus Range and the Euphrates, bordered by Clicia to the west and Cappadocia to the north. Today, this region covers the provinces of Adiyaman, Gaziantep and Kahramanmaras. The region had earlier witnessed the rule of the Assyrians and Hittites and referred to as "Kummuh" in the records of these two kingdoms. The region was then under the domination of the Seleucids after Alexander the Great. It was established in 162 AD by Mithriadates Callinicos as an independent state in the region. Bringing together Persians, as his ancestors, Macedonians and other local people in the region, Callinicos named his kingdom as "Kommagene", which meant "Community of Genes" in Greek. Arsameia and Samosata (Samsat) were the first centers and capitals of the kingdom.

The Kingdom of Kommagene lived its brightest times during the reign of Antiochus I (69-36 BC) who succeeded Callinicos. It was during his reign that the tumulus was built on top of, 150 meters high Mount Nimrod is still prevent its my story. The major part of pieces and properties surviving to our time belong the reign of Antiochus I. Following the death of Antiochus III, the region was occupied by the Romans under Tiberius and made a Roman state (17 BC). However, the next Roman Emperor, Caligula, returned the Kommagene back to Antiochus IV. After the death of Antiochus IV, the Kommagene was eventually bounded to by the Roman Empire during the reign of Vespasianus (72 AD) and ruled as a part of the Syrian state.


The tumulus of Antiochus I has a diameter of 150 meters and height of 50 meters at the altitude 2,150 meters on top of Mount Nimrod. It has surrounded by eastern, western and northern terraces.

In order to cover the tomb at the center of the hill, 30.000 m². According to inscriptions, King Antiochus I ordered that he’d be buried here in this sacred hill. According to the researches and studies carried out in the area, it was concluded that the tumulus was placed on a rocky hill and the tomb of the king was in a room caved out in parent rock. Seismic and impulse radar techniques were used to spot the place of the tomb and analyzed by geophysical method. These investigations led to the conclusion that there were many geological anomalies that could be interpreted as empty spaces in rock are. For this reason today, there is no definitive conclusion whether these are tombs or just naturally formed caves.


In the eastern terrace there are 8-10 meter high colossal statues. There is an altar in front of the line of gods. The statues and relieves in the eastern terrace, which is symmetrical to the western terrace, are quite damaged. Inscriptions describe the order of colossal statues in this terrace as follows:

King Antiochus; Kommagene, the god of fertility (Fortuna Tyke); Zeus-Orosmasdes, the ruler of all Greek-Persian gods; Apollo-Mitras and Heracles Artagnes. On both sides of these gods, there are statues of lions and eagles as their protectors. This line of gods ends with bases of the statues of Persian ancestors.

On the backside of thrones facing the tumulus, there are inscriptions in Greek on laws and orders of the kingdom as well as details of procedures relating to worshipping and celebrations.


In the western terrace again we have colossal statues of gods sitting on their thrones as in the eastern terrace. In this terrace, however, instead of an altar, we see obelisks bearing the inscriptions and relieves of the ancestors of the Kommagene. While stones of the Persian ancestors of the king stand along the southern line of the terrace, others belonging to the Macedonian ancestors are placed to the opposite of the line of gods. Next to this line, there are relieves describing the kings of the Kommagene shaking hands with gods. Couples in these relieves are Antiochus and Kommagene (Fortuna); Antiochus and Apollo-Mitras; Antiochus and Zeus-Oromasdes and Antiochus and Heracles-Artagnes.


In terrace there is also another change with a lion relief. Stone plate its known as the oldest horoscope in the wold is 175 cm long and 240 cm wide with a figure of lion on as it walks rightwards. The lion has a crescent on its neck, and on its body there are 19 stars characterized by eight rays. On the back of the lion there are 16 rays and three big stars. It’s determined by the writings on to next as described Mars, Jupiter and Mercury. According to the different interpretations about the horoscope. According to Prof. Otto Neugebaur, Roman General Pompeins interpreted the horoscope as pointing out to the date July 7th, 62 or 61 BC as the day on which Antiochus I came to the throne. It is on this date that Jupiter, Mercury and Mars get into the same line. According to Prof. K. Dorner, its the constructed horoscope of monument on the mountain. The lion horoscope, as known the relation with King Antiochus, was regarded as holy and protected well by the Kommagene.

The northern terrace is arranged as a ceremony route connecting eastern and western terraces. In this terrace, there are bases of statues of the dynasties and gods of the Kommagene lined in east-west direction.

Karakus Tumulus


The tumulus is placed on the 12 km to the north of Kahta is 35 meters high. The tumulus is surrounded by 5 columns. At present, 4 of these 5 columns are still standing. One of the columns three of them is on the one side and two is on the other two sides. has a relief on and another is topped with an eagle statue. The name "karakus" (meaning black bird in Turkish) derives from this eagle statue. This site used to be the place where the members of the royal family including Mithridates, the son of Antiochus I, his wife, daughter and grandson were buried. The tomb has a diameter of 2 m and height of 10 m.


There are three columns surrounding this Roman period mausoleum also known as "obelisk." It is assumed that this stone-heap tumulus has spaces underneath used as graves.


This tomb in Ucgoz village at a distance of 15 km to Besni district dates back to the 2nd century AD. The tomb at the end of its southern entrance was build of ashlar and covered with a vault.

Kahta Castle


Kocahisar (old Kahta) is located in 26 km to the north of present Kahta.The castle which was built over a rocky hill near Kahta stream, the castle dates back to the Hittites. Surviving inscriptions in the castle gives us the names of Kalaun, (1279 - 1290), Esref Halil (1290 - 1293) and Nasır Mehmed, all Mameluk Sultans. The castle was restored during the reign of Mahmut I, Ottoman Sultan and in Republican era.



It is located on top of a high hill facing the New Castle. On the parade route to the south of the site, we see a relief of Mithras, a stele describing Antiochus and Heracles as they shake hands and a large inscription in Greek ordered by Antiochus. There is a tunnel starting from the point where the inscription stands and going down as deep as 150 meters. There is no definitive idea on why this tunnel was built.

Antic City of Pirin


The antic Pirin city is in the neighborhood of Orenli (Pirin) at a distance of 5 km to the central town. It was one of the five large antic cities of the Kingdom of Kommagene (1st century BC). It used to be a place for stopping-boarding in-between Samsat and Malatya during the Roman times. It can be inferred that the settlement was also a religious center during the Byzantine era since it is known to have sent a representative to the Biblical Council gathering in Nikia. Excavations conducted in the antic city of Pirin unearthed graves, toms, inscriptions, relieves, an altar as well as smaller items such as coins, gold items, bracelets, bottles and oil-lanterns. These pieces and items are presently kept in Adiyaman Museum.


Copper works

Weaving (carpets) and copper works are the leading traditional handicrafts in Adiyaman. Carpets, rugs and felt are mostly woven in rural settlements. In some villages carpets are painted by natural plant roots and in some villages synthetic chemicals are used for dyeing these products. Carpets are exported to many foreign countries including the US. Felt processing is also quite developed in Adiyaman. Other local handicrafts products include saddlebags, socks, gloves, footwear, copper items, woodworks and leatherworks.