Mithraeum in Tienen


[Marleen Martens] discovered a mithraeum which not only contained some small ritual depositions within the proper temple-building, but also a huge ritual deposition in the temenos around it.This deposition contained hundreds of ceramic vessels and thousands of animal bones, especially from cocks. Due to the fact that it was filled and closed within a few days, it can be interpreted as the remains of a grand mithraic feast. It is also note worthy that there is no archaeological evidence for the sacrificeof bulls.

Extracted from Religious Flows in the Roman Empire – The Expansion of 'Oriental Cults' (Isis, Mithras, Iuppiter Dolichenus) from East to West and Back Again

The data from the recovered ceramics, which would seem to indicate about a hundred sets of eating utensils, and the taphonomic investigation of the faunal remains, suggest a feast, probably lasting several days, involving about a hundred participants. A much larger number of participants eating from shared tableware is also a possibility that must be considered, though it remains less likely, mostly for reasons having to do with the demographic patterns of this relatively sparsely populated area.