Thursday, October 21, 2010


Sunday we drove on to explore a bit of the valley west of Nemrut Dagi, the ruins of the Commagene capital of Arsameia, the 2nd century Roman Cendere Bridge, and the Karakus tumulus. From there we drove on, past Narince, where a major surprise awaited us.

Little remains of the Commagene capital at Arsemaia; they
allied themselves with the Parthians and not the Romans;
big mistake; here, a stele at the city entrance, high on a hill

What does remain is fairly great, however:
this relief where the Commagene king
(Antiochus?) is shaking hands with the
patron god of Heracles; one sees this image
elswhere in the period, and it is frightfully
close to some sort of divine right of kings

And this incredible stele about the founding of the city

Late bloomer

Remains of a Hellenistic city


And, a few miles around the bend, the 2nd century Roman
bridge over the Cendere River, a tributary of the

Columns on the bridge

Karakus tumulus, across the valley from Nemrut Dagi;
here the female royalty of the Commagenes were buried; the
Romans plundered it for bridge-building materials

Eagle column at Karakus

Other columns, Commagene

Reservoir of the Euphrates

So after seeing all these wonderful sites, we were driving
along, making good time, but dropping down to the level
of the reservoir, when we suddenly found ourselves in line to
get on the ferry; in this part of Turkey, with the various
dams and reservoirs and hydro-electric projects, lots of
roads have been replaced by ferries; upon examination, I
determined this ferry was too small and that the seamanship
was dubious (they off-loaded and loaded without ever
tying up); we decided to back-track 50 miles and stay on
dry terra firma

Which took us back through Adiyaman (Ithink) and this
interesting view of Turkish rug cleaning

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