Roman altar discovered in England | Photo: University of Leicester Archaeological Services/PA
In Leicester, central England, a stone object has been discovered that researchers believe may be a Roman private altar. The artifact was found in the basement of a Roman building, on the walls of which traces of paintings have been preserved.
This is the first discovery of its kind in Leicester. According to scientists, for centuries it was suspected that the site of the current Leicester Cathedral was previously a Roman temple. The latest discovery may prove it.
Importantly, the Roman house was discovered in the late 19th century, when the cathedral was undergoing repair and reconstruction work. The foundations of the house are in the gardens belonging to the cathedral.
This type of private temples in underground chambers were popular especially when worshiping such cults as Mitra, Cybele or Bacchus. No inscription on the object has survived; but if it was indeed an altar, it was used to offer sacrifices to the deities in religious ceremonies.