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Karakus Tumulusu, Kahta

4.3
#3 of 8 in Historic Sites in Adiyaman Province
Historic Site · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
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The Karakuş Tumulus (also Karakush) is a funerary monument—a hierothesion—for Queen Isias and Princesses Antiochis and Aka I of Commagene, built by Mithridates II of Commagene in 30–20 BCE, near the modern village of Çukurtaş in Kâhta District, Adıyaman Province, Turkey.

Karakuş means "black bird". The monument received this name because there is a column topped by an eagle.

It is located 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) from Kâhta, Turkey. The tumulus is surrounded by groups of three Doric columns, each about 9 metres (30 ft) high. The columns are topped with steles, reliefs and statues of a bull, lion and eagle. An inscription indicates the presence of a royal tomb that housed three women.

The monument has Greek honorific inscriptions on the external faces of the two drums of the central column of the northeast. Skipping a couple of phrases where restoration has been doubtful, the inscription reads:

This is the hierothesion [sacred site or foundation] of Isias, whom the great King Mithridates (she being his own mother) … deemed worthy of this final hour. And … Antiochis lies herein, the king’s sister by the same mother, the most beautiful of women, whose life was short but her honours long-enduring. Both of these, as you see, preside here, and with them a daughter’s daughter, the daughter of Antiochis, Aka. A memorial of life with each other and of the king’s honour.

Sometime after the Kingdom of Commagene was annexed in 72 CE by the Roman emperor Vespasian, the vault of the tomb was looted.

The main excavations on the site were carried out by Friedrich Karl Dörner of the University of Münster.
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Karakus Tumulusu reviews

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Google
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TripAdvisor
  • Visited Karakus Tumulus. This is a monumental tomb for three women. Built in the 2nd century by King Mithridates II of the Commagene civilization for his mother, sister, and daughter. Three columns... 
    Visited Karakus Tumulus. This is a monumental tomb for three women. Built in the 2nd century by King Mithridates II of the Commagene civilization for his mother, sister, and daughter. Three columns...  more »
  • A monumental tomb to the Queen or other Royal member of the Commagene Royal family. There are four remaining 9 to 10 metre columns with a bull, lion and eagle statues. 
    A monumental tomb to the Queen or other Royal member of the Commagene Royal family. There are four remaining 9 to 10 metre columns with a bull, lion and eagle statues.  more »
Google
  • We enjoyed our stop here on the way to Mt Nemrut. Not much to see, but a couple of columns one with a carved bird. Again if you are in the are I would stop and look around it might take 20 minutes. 3btraveler
  • its on the way to see on Nemrut road. there columns and impressive eagle and lion sculptures there which are dedicated to the females in the royal family. You can stop by a few minutes for visiting on the road. nice view from the top

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