The Jajce Mithraeum, or Jajački Mithraeum (Serbo-Croatian: Jajački mitrej) is a temple (Mithraeum) dedicated to the Persian invisible sun god, Mithra. It was rediscovered in an archaeological dig in 1931 in Jajce, Bosnia and Herzegovina.[1][2]

Jajce Mithraeum
Jajački mitrej
Mithraeum in Jajce (July 2017)
The Mithraeum in Jajce on 16 July 2017
Jajce Mithraeum
Jajce Mithraeum
Location of Jajce in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where the temple is found
Alternative nameJajački Mithraeum
LocationMitrasova, Jajce 70101, 87R8+8C Jajce
RegionCentral Bosnia Canton
Coordinates44°20′27″N 17°15′58″E / 44.3407623°N 17.2660339°E / 44.3407623; 17.2660339
TypeTemple, sanctuary
Lengtharound 7 metres (23 ft)
Widthless than 7 metres (23 ft)
Heightfloor level is 2.80 metres (9.2 ft) below ground level
Foundedearly 4th century AD
AbandonedNot known
PeriodsRoman Imperial
Site notes
Excavation dates1931
ArchaeologistsDimitrije Sergejevski
Public accessLimited
Official nameMithraeum in Jajce, the historic (antique religious) monument
TypeCategory 0 monument
CriteriaA, B, E ii.iii.iv.v., F i.ii.iii., G i.iii.v., H i., I i.
Designated21 January 2003 (?th session, No. 06-6-743/03]])
Part ofJajce, the historic site (2494)
Reference no.1317
StateNational Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina
OperatorAgency for Cultural, Historical and Natural Heritage and Development of Tourist Potential of Town Jajce

History Edit

Mithra was worshipped throughout the Roman era, from the late Republic to the later Imperial era. The cult of Mithraism spread from the Middle East to other parts of the Roman Empire throughout the Mediterranean basin, at first by military-political adventurers, travelers, slaves and merchants from the Orient. Later, Mithraism was spread by soldiers whose legions came into contact with the followers of the cult in the East.[3]

The temple dates to the early 4th century AD, although it could be as ancient as the 2nd century AD with repairs undertaken during the early 4th century AD.

This particular Mithraeum is one of the best preserved sites in Europe.

The Jajce site is a typical spelaea. Mithraism followers typically sought to set up their places of worship in caves. In absence of such topographical features, they excavated the soil and built small single-celled temple (spelaea) to reinforce the impression of a cave.

Discovery and protection Edit

The remains of the Mithraeum in Jajce were discovered accidentally during excavation for the construction of a private house in 1931.[1]

The site was purchased by the Society for the Preservation of Antiquities in Jajce and soon after a protective stone and mortar structure was constructed under the supervision of engineer F. Steiner. This structure was repaired in 1952 and survived until 2012, despite significant damage suffered during the Bosnian War.

A new facility replaced the previous one following the 2012 renovation, which cost approximately 260,000 KM (BAM) and was carried out under the MDG-F program "Promotion cultural understanding in Bosnia and Herzegovina" with the financial support of the Kingdom of Spain government.

The temple is now protected by a modern steel-and-girder cage with glass walls that allows visitors to see inside without entering. Visitors can enter with advance notice by contacting the Ethnological Museum of Jajce.

The Jajce Mithraeum is declared a National Monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina,[1] and, including the old Jajce walled city core, the waterfall and other individual sites outside of the old city perimeter, as part of wider areal designated as The natural and architectural ensemble of Jajce, proposed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site list. The natural and architectural ensemble of Jajce is currently placed on the UNESCO Tentative list.[4][5]

See also Edit

References Edit

  1. ^ a b c "The historic (antique religious) monument of the Mithraeum in Jajce". (in English and Bosnian). Commission to preserve national monuments. 12 January 2003. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
  2. ^ Bojanovski, Ivo (1988). Bosna i Hercegovina u antičko doba (in Bosnian and English). Akademija nauka i umjetnosti Bosne i Hercegovine. ISBN 9788671230193. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
  3. ^ Basler, Đuro (1972). Arhitektura: kasnoantickog doba u Bosni i Hercegovini (in Bosnian and Croatian). Veselin Masleša. p. 65. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
  4. ^ "The natural and architectural ensemble of Jajce – UNESCO World Heritage Centre". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Archived from the original on 10 January 2018. Retrieved 25 December 2017.
  5. ^ "UNESCO World Heritage Centre – Tentative Lists: Bosnia and Herzegovina". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Archived from the original on 16 July 2017. Retrieved 25 July 2017.