This is our fifth and final blog on the 3D scans of Roman monuments associated with Hadrian’s Wall. Today’s blog is on the 3D scans of Roman monuments associated with Hadrian’s Wall, products of our recent collaboration with University of Newcastle as part the NU Digital Heritage project (http://www.nu-digitalheritage.com). One of the planned uses of these digital models will be for use as a teaching resource for initiatives such as their free online Massive Online Open Course Hadrian’s Wall: Life on the Roman Frontier. Follow the links to see part one, part two, part three and part four of our blog series.
This week’s scan is on an Easter theme and shows the god Mithras emerging from the Cosmic Egg representing his birth. The cult of Mithraism was practiced in the Roman world from about the 1st to 4th centuries AD. It was a secretive cult favoured by high-ranking Roman army officers. This is one of many Hadrian’s Wall monuments that related to the cult. In Mithraism the egg is the symbol of Eternal Time, which gave the god his title Saecularis (Lord of Ages).
The statue was found at Vercovicium, an auxiliary fort on Hadrian's Wall now known as Housesteads Roman Fort, near Hexham in Northumberland. The statue was found during excavations in 1822 and was one of several artefacts which proved that there was a Mithraeum (Temple of Mithras) at Housesteads.
Mithras holds a sword in his right hand and a burning torch in his left. This is the only known depiction of Mithras emerging from an egg in Britain, though two Continental examples are known, as he is usually depicted emerging from a rock upon his birth. The border around the figure of Mithras contains depictions of the signs of the Zodiac; which are the earliest known examples of this type in Britain. The arms of the figure and the upper part of the frame have been restored.
The quality of our scan is so high that if it is rendered with its colour texture it is indistinguishable from a photograph so we have created this image using a highly simplified 3D model to show some of the underlying data.
More information follow the link below: