Biblical Archaeology Review 12:3, May/June 1986


Biblical Archaeology Review

Theresa Goell Dies—Memorial Fund Established

Six colossal, headless statues rise from Mount Nemrud on the edge of the high Anatolian plateau in southeastern Turkey. At this remote tomb-sanctuary called Nemrud Dagh, Theresa Goell excavated with Dr. Friedrich Doerner from 1953 through 1973. Goell died on December 18, 1985, in New York City at the age of 84.

At Mt. Nemrud, she and Doerner uncovered the imposing tomb-sanctuary of the Hellenistic king Antiochus I who ruled from 64 B.C. to 32 B.C. when much of southeastern Turkey was part of the kingdom of Commagene, a buffer state between the Roman empire on the west and the powerful Parthian empire on the east.

The tomb of Antiochus I is a burial mound some 500 feet in circumference atop the flattened summit of Mt. Nemrud. Its stoneworks, including the six colossal statues whose heads lie upright on the plain beneath them, led the way to a detailed analysis of the long-neglected history of Commagene—a history influenced by both the Greco-Roman and the Persian/Parthian civilizations.

Goell was born in Brooklyn and was a graduate of Radcliffe College. She studied architecture and archaeology at Cambridge University in England and was a student at New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts.

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