Eski Kale (Arsameia)

sights / Historic

Eski Kale (Arsameia) information

About 1.5km further, the main road forks left 2km to Eski Kale, the ancient Commagene capital of Arsameia. Nearby is the park entrance for Arsameia and summit access. At Eski Kale there is a large stele depicting Mithras (or Apollo), the sun god. Further along are the bases of two stelae depicting Mithridates I Callinicus, with Antiochus I, the taller stele, holding a sceptre. Behind here, a cave entrance leads to an underground chamber built for Mithras-worshipping rites.

Further uphill is a stone relief portraying Mithridates I shaking hands with the ancient hero Heracles. Adjacent, another cave temple descends 158m through the rock; the steps into the temple are dangerous. The long Greek inscription above the cave describes the founding of Arsameia; the water trough beside it may have been used for religious ablutions.

On the hilltop are the ruined foundations of Mithridates' capital.