Behind the main altar is a small relief (H. 0.42 Br. 0.57 D. 0.10) in white gypsum
(see fig. 12, 4 and fig. 14).
ILN 1934, fig. 5; GBA 1935, fig. 4; Report, 92ff with Pl. XXIX, 1; Mesnil du Buisson in BSAF 1939-40, 191, fig. 7; Berytus XI, 19,54, Pl. II, 2.
The bas-relief shows the usual tauroctone scene of Mithras, who wears Persian
clothing (Phrygian cap, flying cloak, tunic, trousers). A dagger sheath is visible at
the juncture of the upper garment and the rear guarter of the bull. With his right
arm Mithras reaches around the animal's neck and thrusts in the dagger from the
front (dagger not visible). From the lower right corner the dog leaps against the
bull, holding its nose close to the wound, indicated by the flow of blood, painted
in dark red. Just below the dog appears the outline of the snake, which also leaps
against the wound. The scorpion is lacking.
"To the right above the bull is a large sun disc. The rays were cut in a star pattern on the surface of the disc. To the left is a moon crescent within the horns of which there is a large nine-pointed star. The centers of the sun disc and of the star were cut away in order to remove jewels which were set into small drill holes (diam. 0,002). The bottoms of these holes are
clearly visible as are also the marks of the instrument used to break away the
stone. A slicing blow upward and toward the left with a dull chisel was employed
to make the breaks. A similar break appears in the front of Mithras' cap which
also shows the bottom of a drill hole of the same size. A drill hole one millimeter
larger in diameter was used to represent the nostril of the bull. It is almost certain
that itdid not carry a jewel Between the head of Mithras and the moon crescent
the crow appears as if a alighting on a perch".
"On the top splay there are four holes (diam. 0.01). In the first, there is a white
inset stone. The second one carried a bit of green glazed pottery, but the other
two insets are lost".
Table of the colours used with numbers indicating the order of application:
1 yellow, 2 gesso in places, 2a yellow
deep red-l pink, retraced with red
1 yellow 2 gesso in places, 2a black
Sun and star
1 natural, 2 yellow
1 natural, 2 natural
1 black, 2 black
1 natural, 2 natural (mouth, pink)
red-l pink mixed with white
1 pink (mixed with white?)
1 (in relief), 2 (scar)black
cap 1 pink; hair 1 yellow; face 1 natural outlined in pink with touches of black; eyes 1 black; hands 1 natural with touches of black; upper garment 1 pink mixed with white (belt and some folds yellow); trousers 1 pink (trimmings yellow); dagger, sheath 1 yellow with touches of pink, 2 black;
boots 1 yellow. 2 yellow.
Down the left border of the relief runs an inscription (No. 38) in Greek and in a
tabula ansata there is another one in Palmyrene (No. 39).
Report, 83 No. 845., This and the other inscriptions have been published too
in the Année épigraphique 1940, 267ff.
"istratega" = strategos
Report, No. 845; Mesnil du Buisson in Rev. Et. Sém. XXVIII, 1936, No. 19.
"A good memorial; made by Ethpeni the strategos, son of Zabde'a, who is in
command of the archers who are in Dura. In the month Adar of the year 480 (168
A.D.)" (du Mesnil du Buisson).