Pic of the Day 2017-10-03: Shrines to the Seven Planets of Antiquity

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The Moon rises and the Sun sets over Sumatar in panorama (photo © Daniel C Browning Jr).

On maps it appears (when it appears) as Soğmatar, but the Turkish ğ is not pronounced and historians and archaeologists know it (when they know of it) as Sumatar Harabesi. It will definitely be the subject of a You Don’t Get This on the Bus Tour post, as it is one of the most mysterious, bizarre, and perplexing places I have been.

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Outlying structure V, possibly a temple to Venus at Sumatar (photo © Daniel C Browning Jr).

The site consists (in brief) of: A hill with large building remains at the center of a small village; a cave in the village with carved figures, cult symbols, and Syriac inscriptions; a plateau shrine atop a nearby hill with more carved figures and inscriptions; and seven monumental structures on separate hills within a radius of just over a kilometer, interpreted as temples to the “seven planets” of antiquity around a central shrine.

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“Pognon’s Cave” with its greatly-vandalized figures and inscriptions (photo © Daniel C Browning Jr).

 

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The “Central Shrine” of Sumatar at sunset (photo © Daniel C Browning Jr).

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