Home Library Special Collections and Archives Oral Histories Temple of Mithras

Temple of Mithras Oral History Project

Excavation of the Temple of MithrasADMINISTRATIVE/BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY: The Temple of Mithras 60th Anniversary project was a joint venture between Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA) and Bloomberg, a financial software, data, and media company based in the USA. 

The Temple of Mithras was first uncovered by enemy bombing in the Second World War, with a full excavation taking place in 1954 under the direction of archaeologist Professor William Frances Grimes. The excavation began on 18 September and uncovered some of the finest Roman sculptures ever found in Britain. An extension on the dig was supported by Winston Churchill and widespread media coverage captured the imagination fo the public. Hundreds of thousands of people flocked to the site to watch the archaeologists at work. Queues of people were reported to have lined the streets during what was to be the last fortnight of the excavation. 

In 2010, Bloomberg were preparing to build new premises on the site of the Temple and commissioned an oral history project with MOLA to coincide with the 60th anniversary of Grimes’ dig. 

The aim of the project was to collect the stories and experiences of some of the visitors to the site during those final two weeks in 1954. The intention was to learn how the archaeological discovery affected those who saw it and what exactly they recalled seeing at the time, as well as to gain practical details about their visit. 

SCOPE AND CONTENT: Digital oral histories and supporting documents created as part of the Museum of London Archaeology and Bloomberg's 'Temple of Mithras 60th Anniversary Project' to commemorate the 1954 excavation of the site, (2014-2015). Includes three sections:
- Oral history project 
- Audio montages and poems

- The 1954 excavation 

QUANTITY: 3 digital folders.