Inside view of the Mithraeum I, Ptuj â€” Photo: aiwaz.net
In the western part of Roman Poetoviona, in today's Spodnja Hajdina, the oldest Mithras shrine in the provinces of the Upper Danube (Mithraeum I) was discovered by Wilhelm Gurlitt, an archaeologist from Graz, Austria, between 1898 and 1899. The shrine was immediately after having been unearthed covered by a protective house. Dedications show that the shrine was built in the middle of the 2nd century by administrators of the Illyrian customs based in Poetoviona. The shrine was partly dug into a gentle slope and covered by interwoven branches of a willow. The square-like temple hall is divided into the anteroom and a three-nave central part the middle of which is lowered. Above it, on the west wall, a hole shows where the main altar plate used to be. There are 12 dedication stones bearing inscriptions and relief representations, which show, among other things, myths and attributes connected with different consecration stages of their dedicators. At the entrance into the central part are two altars dedicated to gods of east and west, Cautes and Cautopates.In the central lowered part, on one of the altars, a statue represents the birth of Mithras from the rock, a symbol of the earth, around which coils a snake. The torso of a young man appears from the rock holding a dagger in the left hand and a torch in the right. A special attention should be paid to the columned altar with a statue of taurophorus dedicated to the Transition (transitu). The statue of Mithras, clad in Phrygian clothes and dragging the bull to sacrifice it, and the stone base with the dedication, are both carved from one piece of stone.Source: Turistični portal mesta PtujAll finds are in the Mithraeum.