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Temple of Mithras discovered in Corsica

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Temple of Mithras discovered in Corsica
Temple of Mithras discovered in Corsica | Photo: Denis Gliksman-Inrap

A temple dedicated to Mithras was discovered on the French island of Corsica. This is the first find of this type in this place. The building was built in the Roman city of Mariana, which was founded in the 1st century BCE.

Mariana was a small Roman city that experienced its peak development in the 3rd-4th century CE due to the trade taking place in the local port. Goods from all over the Mediterranean passed through the port.

The discovery took place during preparations for the construction of the road. At the request of a French institution dealing with the protection of monuments, archaeologists conducted thorough research in the place where the road is to run. Excavations began in November 2016. After a month of work, archaeologists revealed that they had found a chamber in which rituals – as scientists believe – dedicated to the Mystery of Mithra were held.

Experts claim that this is the first evidence of the existence of this cult in Corsica. Among the finds, there are three oil lamps, and three broken fragments of an object depicting the scene of Mithras sacrificing a bull. On one of the pieces, you can see a dog and a snake drinking bull’s blood and a scorpion nipping his testicles. Moreover, a female marble head, bronze bells and ceramics were discovered.

The Mystery of Mithras experienced its intensive development in the west in practically the same period as Christianity. The belief was brought from the east by merchants and soldiers.

One of the open bells.

Currently, our knowledge of the cult of Mithras is small, mainly due to the fact that few records about it have survived our times. Most of the knowledge we currently have comes from the discoveries and research of archaeologists. It is generally believed that this religion was only available to men.

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