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TEMPLE OF MITHRAS

ALTERNATIVE NAME:  CARRAWBURGH MITHRAEUM
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The Temple of Mithras (also referred to as the Mithraeum), near Carrawburgh fort along Hadrian's Wall, was founded in the 3rd century, and eventually desecrated, probably by Christians. An excavation at the site in 1950 revealed three building phases. The earliest, dating from around AD 200 measured 5.6 metres by 7.9 metres externally; the second phase started circa AD 222 constituted a north extension, and underwent two internal refits before its destruction in AD 297. Finally it was totally reconstructed at the turn of the 3rd-4th century, and survived until circa AD 330 when it was desecrated. In 1957, a large inscribed altar to the Nymphs and Genius Loci was found standing upright a few yards south of the doorway into the Mithraeum; this was excavated in 1960, and found to be associated with a well, a paved area, and an apsidal structure. Its exact date of construction is unknown, but by the beginning of the 4th century it was in decay. The Mithraeum has been consolidated and partly reconstructed in its 4th century form; it is under guardianship and open to the public. Of the remains south of the doorway, nothing is visible on the surface except for the top of the north slab of the well-head.

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