Ancient sanctuary from obscure religion that competed with Christianity unearthed in Corsica
A sanctuary dedicated to the god of an ancient and mysterious religion known as Mithraism has been discovered on the French island of Corsica for the first time. The structure was erected in the Roman city of Mariana, created around 100 BCE.
The local authorities were planning roadworks in the vicinity of this major site, so they called the French National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research (INRAP) to conduct excavations and make sure that no significant archaeological remains would be standing in the way.
A team, led by archaeologist Philippe Chapon, started working in Mariana in November 2016. It is thought that this little Roman town was at its peak in the third and fourth century and that it derived its strength from its commercial harbour, a point of contact for maritime exchanges with the whole Mediterranean.
After months of work at the site, the archaeologists can now reveal that they have identified a worship room and its antechamber. They appear to have been part of a religious sanctuary dedicated the Indo-Iranian deity Mithra. Read more.