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London Mithraeum Bloomberg SPACE brings Roman Temple of Mithras to life



London Mithraeum Bloomberg SPACE is a new free cultural destination opening on 14 November 2017. The immersive temple reconstruction uses carefully directed lights, haze and sound to bring the temple’s remains to life, and to evoke the rituals and activities that took place within its cave-like walls.

London Mithraeum Bloomberg SPACE brings Roman Temple of Mithras to life
Scene of Mithras slaying bull - tauroctony [Credit: PAYE]
Since being discovered by chance in 1954 during the rebuilding of London after the Blitz, London’s Temple of Mithras has ignited imaginations. The near complete footprint of the temple emerged from the rubble, a symbol of London’s endurance. It immediately became a public sensation, attracting front-page news and queues of up to 30,000 visitors a day over a two week period.  Our oral history project brought together fascinating first-hand accounts and painted a picture of a city enraptured by archaeological discovery. We hope that London Mithraeum will mean that many generations to come will be able to experience the magic of London’s Temple of Mithras.

London Mithraeum Bloomberg SPACE brings Roman Temple of Mithras to life
The temple of Mithras reconstruction [Credit: PAYE]
The discovery of the temple was just the first glimpse into the site’s extraordinary past. After Bloomberg acquired it in 2010 and our archaeological excavation began, it became clear that thanks to the waterlogged conditions of the Walbrook valley, the site held further archaeological riches from Roman Londinium, leading the site to be dubbed ‘the Pompeii of the north’. In 2016 we released our research into the first hand-written documents from Britain. Previously only 19 legible tablets were known from London, we discovered 405 at Bloomberg including one that features the first ever reference to London.


The huge collection of over14,000 artefacts, 65,000 sherds of pottery and three tonnes of animal bone discovered tells us about the identities and lives of the first Londoners from across the social spectrum. 600 of these artefacts, including the first financial document from Britain and a tiny, precious amber amulet are on display at London Mithraeum Bloomberg SPACE.

London Mithraeum Bloomberg SPACE brings Roman Temple of Mithras to life
'Inside London's temple of Mithras' by artist Judith Dobie [Credit: MOLA]
Michael R. Bloomberg, Founder, Bloomberg LP said: "London has a long history as a crossroads for culture and business, and we are building on that tradition. As steward of this ancient site and its artefacts, we have a responsibility to preserve and share its history and  as a company that is centred on communication - of data and information, news and analysis - we are thrilled that Bloomberg has been part of a project that has provided so much new information about Roman London. We hope London Mithraeum Bloomberg SPACE will be enjoyed by generations to come."

London Mithraeum Bloomberg SPACE brings Roman Temple of Mithras to life
Plan of temple of Mithras [Credit: MOLA]
Explore the site's history and archaeology in Archaeology at Bloomberg, a brand new book which is free to download.

Source: Museum of London Archaeology [November 09, 2017]
TANN

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