Monday, 28 September 2009

Sussex Mithras


A Sussex castle park is probably not the place that you would expect to find a Mithraic relic. (If religions of the ancient Near East aren’t really your thing, then Mithras was a sun god, often represented as a bull, whose cult was popular during the middle Roman Empire, for a while rivalling Christianity as a somewhat frowned upon underground movement. If you google it, you realise that there are plenty of people out there anything but time poor.)


This column top, was ‘found’ (perhaps Roget’s thesaurus hasn’t quite got around to listing found as a synonym for looted from) in Sevastopol, presented to the Norfolk family and ever since has been exposed to the elements in the park.

This cued quite some ranting about the cheek of describing something clearly purloined as ‘found’, and the subsequent damage down to this interesting cultural relic – in a country that repeatedly tells the Greeks they’re not fit to look after the Elgin Marbles.

Still, the views were nice.

25 comments:

  1. You were right to rant. "Found" my bum!

    Great skies in the pics. Seems like the seasons they are a-changin.

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  2. Very nice. I just finished Dan Brown's thriller THE LOST SYMBOL in which he talks about ancient religions in relation to the Masons. This post makes me think of that book.

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  3. maybe it is yet another relic that needs to be returned... i agree it does look a bit odd and out of place in darkest Sussex!!

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  4. Very interesting post and great photos! Thanks for sharing!

    Sylvia

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  5. It is an interesting post with great photos, thanks for sharing your part of the world.

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  6. Is this where the term "Found Art" comes from then ? Incredible what finds turn up in museums or collections in distant places...

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  7. Wonderful Colors in the clouds and nice sequence of shots...would love to see the castle park there like you do. cheers

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  8. Sounds very interesting, true or not, the landscape is beautiful !

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  9. the images are both interesting and fascinating. thanks for sharing.

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  10. Interesting information. It is hard to make judgement on whether Western countries robbed or preserved the artifacts of the ancient world. Just see how much the damages done by the Culture Revolution, which were thousand times more then the what the Western countries robbed from China.

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  11. Thank you for this very interesting and informative post! Have a beautiful day!

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  12. Very funny. I guess the Great Train Robbers found some money on a train. If everyone was forced to give back what they took, the British Museum would close.

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  13. Nice photos J, I wasn't aware there was a "Mithras" ruin in Sussex. Thanks for sharing:)

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  14. enjoyed this bit a history...fascinating. and your captures lovely.
    have a wonderful week.

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  15. I think what vexed me about this was both the evasiveness of the plaque - it was clearly stolen not found and that should be acknowledged, and that it is being allowed to fall into disrepair, with no effort to conserve it or even tell people about it's history.

    wolynski - well, there'd still be the sutton hoo hoard... The larger issue of whether artefacts were bought or stolen is a difficult one, espcially as all parties have such vested interests in proving their argument, with the facts often being shrouded in the proverbial mists. I think it would be sad if countries only ended up with their 'own' antiquities, so there does need to be some accomadation, but I think reciprocal sharing of collections is a wonderful thing that I hope to see more of in the future.

    I've been lucky enough to benefit from the arrangement between the UK and China by seeing the Terracotta Warriors in London, and Turners (including paintings of sussex landscapes) in Beijing. Who says globalisation is all bad? ;)

    Grace and Bradley - I did find it very embarrassing in the Summer Palace where it seemed that everything had been burnt down by the british and french. But equally I felt sad visiting temples were the buildings were all reconstructions as the original thousand year old temples and many of the irreplaceable scrolls and artefacts in them had been destroyed.

    Really, humans, what are we like?

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  16. How interesting that is! Makes me wonder about a lot of things I've seen... what's been pilfered and what is legitimate? Love to know what kind of camera you're using?

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  17. Interesting use of the work "found". Too bad a fine artifact is left out to weather in the open.

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  18. Great pictures, but what a shame that it is looted.

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  19. I've been there... where is it??

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  20. Tina - I shot these with a Canon 450D with a 18-55mm lens. I love this camera!

    Roseki - This is Arundel Park, which I probably should've put in the post!

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  21. Very informative post. I enjoyed the pictures and lines very much.
    thanks for sharing.. :)

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