The Carmona Elephant Tomb served cult functions

The Carmona Elephant Tomb served cult functions

Following an investigation by archaeologists in the so-called Elephant Tomb belonging to the Roman necropolis of Carmona, in Seville, it has been suggested that its function has not only been funerary but that it has also had a facet dedicated to the worship of the god Mitra.

This conclusion has been reached after check the building structure and more specifically one of its windows through which the rays of the Sun enter at the equinoxes, just three hours after sunrise, thus indicating that it was a temple of Mithraism. The way that Taurus and Scorpio are positioned reinforces the hypothesis.

Investigations have found that the building underwent several renovations, each of which gave it new functions. Inmaculada Carrasco and Alejandro Jiménez, as authors of the study, focused on the analysis of the window because previous research had already suggested that it was not only a method of illumination but that it possibly held a spiritual meaning.

At the moment when the sun's rays penetrated through the window, they illuminated a statue of tauroctonia in which the god is represented Mithras killing a bull, but unfortunately this has been lost.

During the equinoxes the stars were positioned in a specific position indicating that the constellations were of great importance in this place, which corresponds to another of the characteristics of the Mithraic cult. Despite the importance that the Sun had for them, the Moon also occupied an important place illuminating the face of mithras on the nights before the equinox.

The only thing that contradicts these arguments is that despite the fact that renovations were carried out in the building for funeral purposes, it is rare for a temple like this to be located in a necropolis, since, they are usually established in more urban places.

I was born in Madrid on August 27, 1988 and since then I started a work of which there is no example. Fascinated by both numbers and letters and a lover of the unknown, that is why I am a future graduate in Economics and Journalism, interested in understanding life and the forces that have shaped it. Everything is easier, more useful and more exciting if, with a look at our past, we can improve our future and for this… History.


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