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RUDCHESTER MITHRAEUM

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The site of a Mithraeum, excavated in 1953 at Rudchester. It was built in the early third century AD over an earlier, unidentified stone structure apparently of Antonine date. Rebuilding took place towards the end of the century, and the new temple, identical in plan with the first except for the narthex, incorporated two centurial stones from the Vallum, one inscribed 7 iv.v. It was short-lived, and was probably finally desecrated early in the 4th century. The mithraeum has been partly overlain and protected by a positive lynchet/fieldbank. The 1953 excavation trench can be identified on the ground by slight scarps, vegetation-marks and the local modification of the lynchet. The north and east parts of the mithraeum were well preserved but the south and west were largely destroyed. A suggested alternative reconstruction of the south-west corner, giving the building a symmetrical west end, was published following field survey.

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