Inspiring stories: Temple of Mithras oral history project digital archive launches
Oral History Digital Archive
When the Temple of Mithras was discovered in 1954, it captured public imagination and tens of thousands of people flocked to the site to catch a glimpse of it emerging from the ground. It was the greatest archaeological discovery of its time.
In September 2014, 60 years after the Temple of Mithras was discovered beneath the rubble of post-war London, we partnered with Bloomberg and embarked on an oral history project to capture recollections of the temple’s discovery whilst it was still in living memory. When the call went out on BBC Radio 4 in 2014, over 100 people came forward to share their memories, photographs, letters, diary entries, tickets and newspaper clippings, giving archaeologists and historians a rich picture of what it was like to experience the discovery first hand.
Now, a brand new digital archive has been published which brings together first-hand accounts of what it was like to be part of London's greatest archaeological discovery.
The oral histories, photography and ephemera can be explored at www.londonmithraeum.com/oral-history.
To mark this important moment, London Mithraeum Bloomberg SPACE played host to the oral history project participants and invited them to experience the restored temple remains at London Mithraeum Bloomberg SPACE, nearly sixty-five years after they first encountered them. A short film following the visitors as they explored the newly reconstructed temple has been released to complement the digital archive.
Watch the video here:
Oral History and the reconstruction of the temple
The stories and ephemera shared with us played a vital role in informing the reconstruction of the temple.
When planning the reconstruction, authenticity was integral and contributions to the oral history project have made a significant contribution towards improving the accuracy of the reconstruction. The temple now sits at original Roman ground level and is accessible to the public for free at London Mithraeum Bloomberg SPACE.
To access the digital archive, click here
To book a visit to London Mithraeum Bloomberg SPACE, click here