CIMRM Supplement - Mithraeum at the Villa of Els Munts, Altafulla, near Tarragona, Spain.

Excavation diagram, and conjectural plan of the Mithraeum.

Plan of the villa. From article.

The Mithraeum. Photo: Codex/Archivo MNAT

Finds: fragment of tauroctony (MNAT EM-04-2604-2), and two uninscribed altars (MNAT EM-04-2262 and MNAT EM-04-2613-1).

Views of the Mithraeum, from the NW and SE.

Location of Els Munts from Tarragona.

In 2004 a Mithraeum was discovered in the ruins of a large Roman villa-complex on a small hill near the beach, in the town of Altafulla, about 10km along the coast from Tarragona. The villa may have been a summer residence of the provincial governor.1 It was built in the 1st c. AD on a regular orthogonal plan, but the Mithraeum is on a slightly different orientation, evidently for some special astronomical or other reason. The Mithraeum was built after the start of the 2nd century. The villa complex was partly destroyed by fire around 275 AD, but the site remained in use on a reduced scale until the 7th century.

The Mithraeum is the largest currently known. The size of the main cella alone is L. 30 Br. 8.1 m. Among the finds are a triangular altar and two uninscribed altars. Fragments of sculpture were recovered in earlier campaigns.2

External references

  • Josep Anton Remolà Vallverdú, Museu Nacional Arqueològic de Tarragona - Jornadas Mithraicas.
  • Francesc Tarrats Bou, Josep Anton Remola Vallverdu &c, "La villa romana dels Munts (Altafulla, Tarragonès) i Tarraco", article.

1Ezquerra, l.c.
2Jaime Alvar Ezquerra, Romanising Oriental Gods: Myth, Salvation, and Ethics in the Cults of Cybele, Isis, and Mithras, Brill, 2008, p.358. Google books preview here.

comments powered by Disqus