CIMRM Supplement - Sol Altar. Inveresk, Scotland, Britain.

See also: Inveresk Mithraeum; Altar of Sol; Altar of Mithras; Small finds

The altar of Sol prior to conservation. From: AOC Archaeology Group.

Laser scan of altar. From: AOC Archaeology Group.

A laser scan of the altar. From: AOC Archaeology Group.

Detail: Figures of Spring and Summer from the altar capital. From: AOC Archaeology Group.

The Inveresk Mithraeum included two altars, found side by side. One was an altar to Sol.1

The capital of the altar is characterised by a row of four figures with an inscribed panel beneath that bears traces of red and white pigment. The figures most likely represent the four seasons.

At the bottom of the capital is an inscription which seems to be:


The altar is characterised by the face of Sol, the sun god, which has been carved into the centre of the altar shaft. The shaft is hollow and Sol's crown, eyes and mouth are pierced which would have allowed light to radiate through the face from behind producing a theatrical effect.

The sides of the altar have been carved with laurel wreaths. It has been suggested that these wreaths represent Sol Invictus, the unconquered Sun.


1These notes are taken from the conservation diary. At the moment there seems to be no formal publication of the find.

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