Soğmatar

Soğmatar

When you head 18 km north of City of Suayb, you arrive at Soğmatar. It is 57 km away from Harran. Current name of Soğmatar is Yağmurlu Village. Soğmatar consists of the words “matar”, which means “rain”, and “suk”, meaning “bazaar” in Arabic. It is a distorted form of “Suk el Matar”, which means “Rain Street/Bazaar”. It is known that Soğmatar is a cult centre where people worshipped God of Moon, Sin, during the Abgar Kingdom period dating back to the 2nd century AD. Inside the village, there is a cave (Pognon Cave) where people worshipped Goddess of Moon, Sin, a sacred hill where there are god reliefs on the slopes and Syriac scripts engraved onto rocks, and sacrifices were consecrated. There are also 6 pieces of square and round planned mausoleum (monument tombs) and many rock tombs. It was found out that there were approximately 20 quarries around Soğmatar. Total number of Syriac scripts that have been discovered is 14.

It is thought that people fleeing from this region due to the attacks of the Parthians (Persians) carried out in 165 AD and worshipping celestial bodies established this cult centre. This location preserved its cult centre feature until the Islamic period. There are many wells engraved onto main rock in this settlement area. It is believed that one of these ancient wells belonged to Moses.

Soğmatar is one of the most interesting places of Turkey not only for those interested in astronomy but also for bird watchers. It is likely to see species such as desert lark (Ammomannes deserti) and pin-tailed sandgrouse (Pterocles alchata), that are scarcely observed in Turkey, during spring and autumn in this region.