25
February
17.00
Cost: Free

The 'Mithraeum' at Burham, Kent

Ordinary Meeting of Fellows (Fellows and Guests Only)

The 'Mithraeum' at Burham, Kent: A New Interpretation of an Old Problem

Lecture by Mark Samuel, FSA

This structure was found and quarried away in the years 1893-4.  This was carried out by hand, allowing several antiquaries working in isolation the chance to record it at various stages of its destruction.  Their records disagree on many details but excellent surviving photographic plates made at the time allow an accurate concordance to be made.  The 'vaulted cellar' was originally identified as a Mithraeum  but reinterpretation suggests that it was a podium of a classical temple-like structure. This may have resembled the mausoleum of Cecilia Metella on the Appian Way.  The cella over the vault for ?funerary ritual was demolished in the 4th Century and the 'basement' filled in.  Proximity to the supposed site of the 'Medway Battle' is an intriguing feature of this isolated and 'tip-top' structure.  Recent Lidar survey raises the exciting possibility that part of the structure and ?funerary precinct has escaped quarrying, and the possibilities of future excavation are discussed."   

No Ballot Scheduled.

 

Event Location

Society of Antiquaries of London, Burlington House