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Archaeological research on the hill of Şehremuz in Samsat has uncovered relics from the 7000 BC Paleolithic era; the 5000 BC Neolithic, 3000 BC Chalcolithic and 3000 to 1200 BC Bronze Ages. The ancient city of Ḫaḫḫum (Hittite: Ḫaḫḫa) was located nearby; it is recorded as a source of gold for ancient Sumeria.
Samsat was later the walled capital of the Commagene kingdom founded in 69BC, the civilisation that built the statues on top of nearby Mount Nemrut. See Samosata for the ancient history of the town, which remained a regional centre in the Ottoman period.
The old town of Samsat and all its history were flooded behind the Atatürk Dam in 1989. The new town was built beside the new waterline by the government to house the displaced residents.
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