A view from the Eastern Terrace of Nemrut Dagi National Park near Adiyaman Turkey, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in the morning of 9th October just as the twilight was beginning. The relatively fainter winter Milky Way is visible due south, while the Zodiacal Light shines in the east as a pyramid of light reaching all the way near zenith, crossing the Milky Way in the process. The statues of the Eastern Terrace watch the morning twilight, soon to be followed by the sunrise as they did for the last 2000 years. There is one surprise shining just above the heads of the statues, which is Canopus, the second brightest star in the night sky, shining less than a degree over the southern horizon. Normally, Canopus should not be visible from a location this far north, 37d 59′ N. But this sight was possible thanks to the extra transparent skies and the peak’s elevation of 2200 meters overlooking Mesopotamian lowlands in the south.

Also, some tourists can be seen taking position on the ceremonial altar to watch the sunrise. Nemrut is mostly visited at around sunset and sunrise, as this high elevation archaeological site is famous for very beautiful sunsets and sunrises, with the megalithic statues contributing to the ambiance. Mount Nemrut is a part of the ceremonial grounds of Commagene Kingdom. The monument was built in the 1st century BC during the reign of Antiochos I.



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