Mithraeum III, Ptuj

Frontal view of the protective building raised in 1913

Frontal view of the protective building raised in 1913 — Photo: aiwaz.net

Description

In Ptuj (Pettau) at Zborn Breg (Zgornji Breg / Ober-Rann) Mithraeum III was discovered in 1913 between Roman villas which are situated between the Brunnwasser and the Pragerhoferstreet. The finds are preserved in the sanctuary.

The Mithraeum stands in an almost exact N-S direction and is situated in the immediate neighbourhood of the river Drave (Drau). It is practically certain, that on its east side there was a sanctuary of the Magna Mater.

It is possible to distinguish two periods of the sanctuary: the walls of the original Mithraeum were in pebble; the extension of the later period was in brick. On the left of the statue of Mithras as a bullkiller in the floor before the niche a bollo. In both periods we have the normal division into a central aisle and two benches. The original sanctuary (L. 11.20 Br. 6.85) had a pronaos (Deep 3.00) which after the enlargement became part of the sanctuary proper. The left bench was enlarged to the outer wall of the former pronaos; the r. bench also was enlarged at the same time. The Mithraeum was provided with a larger pronaos. At the end of the central aisle a projecting base (L. 1.40) was made in brick for the cultrelief to stand on. It was later on enlarged to the breadth of the central aisle. On its left side there are still traces of stucco and of red painting.

The Mithraeum was covered by a wooden roof as appears from fragments of loam with basket-work. The side walls were painted in a simple way (white bordered with red rims).

Martin J. Vermaseren

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