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"Archaeologists to the rescue of ancient gods"

Archaeologists to the rescue of ancient gods
trefwoorden: Mount Nemrut - oud - goden - beelden
An international team of archaeologists will soon start restoration work on the summit of Mount Nemrut in eastern Turkey.
Here colossal two-thousand-year-old statues of the ancient gods have suffered from airborne pollution, the head of the project said on Wednesday. Hermen Brijder, a Dutch archaeologist, told AFP that the project, which will include restoration, rescue and conservation work, was expected to take up to eight years.
The site, in the eastern province of Adiyaman, was constructed by Commagene ruler Antiochus I, (69-34 BC) who believed he descended from Apollo.
About 200 000 cubic meters were cut away by hand from the top of the mountain to make an artificial platform, where the king built a statue of himself alongside those of Apollo, Zeus and other ancient gods.
The 10 monuments are 10 metres high and made from stone blocks weighing six tons.
The gigantic heads, along with a number of reliefs and inscriptions, now lie scattered at the peak of the mountain - 2 150meters high - forming an impressive scene, which some have called the eighth wonder of the world.
Brijder said they planned to repair some of the sculptures, while others would be transferred to a museum to preserve them from the destructive impact of airborne pollution.
The remains, which have been damaged both by time and careless visitors, were placed on the World Heritage List of UNESCO in 1987 as one of the most ambitious constructions of the Hellenistic period following the break-up of Alexander the Great's empire. Archaeologists believe that the tomb of Antiochus I is also located at the site and expect it to be as important and rich as those of the Egyptian Pharaohs.
bron: IOL, 4 juni 2003