History repeating: remembering the Temple of Mithras

This September marks sixty years since the discovery of the Roman Temple of Mithras. The 1954 excavation captivated public imagination with an estimated 400,000 people flocking to visit the site over a two-week period, and doing what we Brits do best, queuing for hours along the streets of the City of London to glimpse the remains.

Looking down into the excavations (c) Ivor Noel Hume

Looking down into the excavations (c) Ivor Noel Hume

Visiting the Temple of Mithras (c) Museum of London

Visiting the Temple of Mithras (c) Museum of London

To capture this historic event whilst it is still in living memory, MOLA are working with Bloomberg on an oral history project collecting and celebrating the experiences of the people who went to marvel as the temple was exposed. Anyone who visited the site in 1954 is urged to contact us if they are interested in sharing their memories.

If you are interested in taking part in the Temple of Mithras oral history project or have images or objects relating to the discovery then you can contact our oral history team on oralhistory@mola.org.uk or 020 7410 2266 (M-F, 9-5).

The oral histories will form a permanent educational and research collection, also encompassing photography, newspaper clippings, diaries and any other ephemera relating to the discovery.

In the 1960s the temple was reconstructed 100 metres from its original location and in 2011 the reconstruction was carefully dismantled as work on Bloomberg’s new European headquarters began.

The 1960s temple of Mithras reconstruction (c) MOLA

The 1960s temple of Mithras reconstruction (c) MOLA

A more faithful reconstruction of the temple will be reinstated in its original position, 7 metres below ground level in a purpose-built, public exhibition space in the new Bloomberg building, to open in 2017.

See also MOLA’s blog on our new website

Advertisements

One thought on “History repeating: remembering the Temple of Mithras

  1. Pingback: Around the Archaeology Blog-o-sphere Digest #4 | Doug's Archaeology

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s