Since 250 BC, the region has been located between the Seleucid and Parthian Empires. It has a strategic location, benefiting from fertile land and a series of independent ideological rulers. Mithridates I Callinicus broke away from the Seleucid Empire and established the independent Kingdom of Commagene in 109 BC, and established the capital in Arsameia. He is the son of a prince, and he has blood with the Persian kings Alexander the Great and Darius Darius.
The Commagene Kingdom is a powerful kingdom that prides itself on the integration of the religion, culture and traditions of Greek and Persian culture. He died in 64 BC and was succeeded by his son Antiochus I Epiphanes, who demonstrated his ability as a statesman by declaring a non-aggression treaty with the Romans.
After successfully taking power economically and politically, Antiochus believed that he was worthy of a god-like position and ordered the construction of a temple and funeral mound to show respect. Its size and position reflect his self and his thoughts on eternal life, and he announced that after death his soul will enter heaven with Zeus.
However, the huge statues of Antiochus and the gods remained under his rule because his short reign ended in 38 BC. He fought side by side with the Parthians and was separated from the Romans, who later Deposed him. Then the Roman Empire took over the Commagene Kingdom.
Antiochus and his statue were almost forgotten for centuries, until the German engineer Karl Puchstein discovered them by accident while investigating the site in 1881. Two years later, he returned with Karl Humann for a close inspection, but it was not until 1953 that a team of American archaeologists returned and conducted a thorough investigation. Since then, despite its remote location, the site has been one of Turkey’s most popular attractions.