Research on the throne of the Gods

It has been almost 70 years since the Historian and Founder of the Forschungsstelle Asia Minor Friedrich Karl Dörner discovered the royal residence of Arsameia at the Nymphaios – dating back into the 1st century BCE – in the ancient landscape of Commagene (south-eastern Turkey). The excavations which followed laid the foundation for a long tradition of research. Researchers from the Forschungsstelle Asia Minor are still working in the region today. Dörner himself together with other Turkish and German colleagues was involved in fieldwork until the 1980s.

Apart from Arsameia at the Nymphaios, Dörner`s focus was always on the famous tomb monument of the Commagenian King Antiochos I. on the Nemrud Dağı, which is a world-heritage site and one of the most famous ancient monuments of Turkey. Dörner was involved in its excavation and examination for many years. Apart from historic and archaeological research, he was also promoting Turkish–German exchange and collaboration in general, and even today – 30 years after his death – many people in the region remember him and his work.

To remember the achievements and contributions of Friedrich K. Dörner, a new and extensive exhibition has been put up at the visitors centre of the Nemrud Dağı by the Directorate for Culture and Tourism of the Adiyaman province under Mustafa Ekinci. Pieces of gear and equipment that the archaeologists used in the 1950s and 1960s are on display. Furthermore, objects of the everyday life – amongst other things a field bed and washing bowls as well as the library of the team – give insights into the life of people who participated in the fieldwork. Together with these objects original photos allow for a fascinating view of not only the archaeological sites and works, but also the region and its inhabitants.

The exhibition thereby invites to a trip back in time: Back into the history of archaeological fieldwork and its methods, but also the remote world of mountain villages in south-eastern Turkey. At the same time it remembers the long tradition of Turkish–German cooperation at Münster University.

by Michael Blömer

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