CIMRM 818 - head of Serapis, and a hand, from Walbrook Mithraeum, London


See also: CIMRM 810-811 Tauroctony; 812 Cloaked figure; 813 Oceanus; 814 Mithraeum; 815 Mithras head; 816 Cautopates fragment; 817 Torso of deity; 818 Serapis head + 2 hands; 819 Circular plaque; 820 Minerva head; 821 Mercury statuette; 822-823 Dionysius, Silenus statue; 824 Sandstone bowl; 825 Inscription; 826 Inscription; Supp. Silver box + strainer;

From here.

2nd century. Serapis has his grain-basket (or modius) on his head.

The hand

There is confusion about the "hand", listed by Vermaseren. There are two items which might match! There is an image on the Museum of London website; and a plate in the JRS. Both indicate that they come from the Walbrook Mithraeum. Neither matches any other item in Vermaseren's list of items. Yet the two are clearly not the same.

1. The Museum of London website gives the following photo and text:

From: Museum of London: "Fragment of a Roman statue. A hand from a large sculpture, possibly Mithraic. This hand was found buried with Serapis and Mercury at the east end of the temple of Mithras. It was placed within the entrance under the penultimate floor, across the line of the north arcading. 150 AD - 200 AD."

2. Here is the entry from The Journal of Roman Studies, Vol. 45, Parts 1 and 2 (1955), pp. 121-149, pl. 45, 2, available via JSTOR:

P.138 states: "The marbles had been buried in two separate holes near the eastern entrance-the Mithras and Minerva (pl. XLIV) immediately over the north sleeper-wall; the large hand (pl. XLV, 2), the Mercury (pl. XLVI), and the Serapis (pl. XLV, 1) just south of them in the nave. But the use of the temple had not ended with the burial of the statuary: two further floors had been laid, at least one of which covered the whole of the interior, eliminating the nave-aisle division...."

CIMRM entry


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