Time-lapse footage by a Turkish drone artist shows views of Mount Nemrut, a World Heritage Site since 1987. The mountain is believed to be a royal tomb from the first century B.C.
The 7,001-foot mountain in southeastern Turkey is noted for having large statues around its summit.
In 62 B.C., King Antiochus I Theos of Commagene built a tomb-sanctuary on the summit flanked by huge statues of himself, two lions, two eagles and various Greek and Iranian gods. The statues once had the names of each god inscribed on them. The heads were removed from their bodies at some point and are now scattered throughout the site.
Antiochus I was the son of King Mithridates I Callinicus and Queen Laodice VII Thea of Commagene. He was half Armenian and half Greek, a distant member of the Orontid Dynasty. Although the Roman Republic was annexing territories during his reign, Antiochus used diplomacy to keep Commagene independent. He made peace with Pompey in 64 B.C, when the Roman general invaded Syria, eventually becoming an ally.
To capture a broad range of views of Mount Nemrut, Isa Turan took time-lapse footage, which he posted online.
“The video starts with the sunset on the western face of Mount Nemrut on the evening of July 10,” he said. “Later, it becomes night and the Milky Way and the stars are visible. Finally, after continuing with night scenes on the eastern terrace, the sun rises.
“We didn’t even close our eyes for a minute during the 30 hours that passed until we went from Izmir to Nemrut and completed the shooting,” he said. “We were one of the few lucky people who experienced the sunset, starry nights and sunrise at the same time in Nemrut, which we arrived at in the evening.
“All night long, we were alone with the statues under the stars. It is really difficult for me to express my experience and my feelings into words. We have officially made a journey into history among these ruins built thousands of years ago.
“It was an extraordinary experience to be so close to the sky in the pitch black of night, with the howling of the strong wind and the stars seemingly within touching distance.”
Edited by Fern Siegel and Judith Isacoff
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