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Parthian Mithraeum on the verge of Destruction


News Category: Arsacid Dynasty

 30 October 2005



“The subterranean temple of Mithra in village of Verjuy (Verjouy or Varju’i), Maragheh is in ruins, as the result of illegal building projects within the protected zone of the ancient temple, as well as penetration of the surface waters into the cavern and traffic passing over the temple”, Neser Zavari the head of Maragheh ICTO told reporters.


“Until now too little has been done to protect this important site. If we want to save this monument from destruction we must change the route of the road passing over the temple, and taking necessary measures to prevent further surface water finding its way inside the caver”, He added.


Verjuy Mithraeum carved out of the living rock made of Schist, dates back to the Arsacid Dynasty with a 5.4-meter wide entrance.


“This splendid man-made caved-temple, due to its volume of work and abstruseness can be considered as one of the most exceptional and precious temples of the ancient world”, he concluded.


Followers of Mithraism built this temple during the Arsacid dynasty by cutting a huge schist stone on the ground into an entrance 5.40 meters wide. A steep embankment reaches an underground corridor with a crescent-shaped ceiling at the entrance of the cave. The height of the corridor's ceiling is 2.5 meters from the ground and the corridor is 17.60 meters long. The central corridor has many pit-like entrances that lead to underground rooms with dome-like ceilings. Holes were made in many of these ceilings in the Islamic period to allow light to enter the temple.