Mithraeum of St. Egyden

The 'Mithraic cave' in the Gradische/Gradišče massif near St. Egidio contained vessels decorated with snakes and the remains of chicken bones and other animals that were consumed during Mithraic ceremonies.
21 Aug 2021
Updated on 16 Jan 2022
  • Austrian Archaeological Institute

    Austrian Archaeological Institute
    Gleirscher, LM f. Kärnten 

  • Gradišče cult vessel with snake representations

    Gradišče cult vessel with snake representations
    Landesmuseum Kärnten/P. Gleirscher 


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Typical vessels with snake decorations in caves usually indicate a connection with the Mithraic mysteries. The majority of the numerous pottery and animal bones accumulated as a result of reoccurring cult feasts in the cave and thus reflect the eating habits and the selection of animals for the practice of the cult.

The remains of animals studied to date confirm that the animals typical for cult feasts are represented. There are numerous poultry bones among the material. Many are from chickens but wild birds have also been accounted for.

Related monuments

Cult vessel with snake representations of St. Egyden

The mithraic cult vessel of Gradische/Gradišče bears an inscription that mentions the Persian god. is powered by Enkidū