A cultural hub


Situated on the site of Bloomberg’s European headquarters, this cultural hub showcases the ancient temple, a selection of the remarkable Roman artefacts found during the recent excavations, and a series of contemporary art commissions responding to one of the UK’s most significant archaeological sites.

Archaeology at Bloomberg is an illustrated guide to the exceptional archaeology and history of the Bloomberg site:

The making of the Mithraeum

The site lies over the course of one of London’s lost rivers, the Walbrook. Nearly 2,000 years ago when Londinium was founded by the Romans, this river marked the limits of their first settlement. In the 3rd century AD, nearly 200 years after the founding of London, a Roman Londoner, built a temple to the god Mithras on this reclaimed ground, next to the river.

Mithras

The mysterious cult of Mithras first appeared in Rome in the 1st century AD. It spread across the Empire over the next 300 years, predominantly attracting merchants, soldiers and imperial administrators. Meeting in temples which were often constructed below ground, these were private, dark and windowless spaces. The mythological scene of Mithras killing a bull within a cave, the ‘tauroctony’ is at the heart of the cult, and its full meaning is subject of much speculation.

Remembering the 1954 discovery

On Saturday, 18th September 1954, on the final day of planned archaeological excavation, the marble head of a statue of Mithras was uncovered from beneath the rubble of post-war London.

This chance discovery led archaeologists to confirm the structure uncovered nearby was a temple to Mithras and became one of the most significant events in British archaeological history. An extension of the dig was supported by Winston Churchill and widespread media coverage of the discoveries captured the imagination of the public. As a result, tens of thousands of visitors flocked to the site to marvel at the Roman remains and were inspired by what they saw.

The Story of the Bloomberg Writing Tablets

Archaeologists from MOLA found 400+ fragments of ancient Roman writing-tablets on the site of the new Bloomberg London building. The collection is the largest and earliest of its kind in Britain and includes the first known reference to London and the earliest hand-written document in Britain. Roman waxed writing tablets were used for note taking, tallying accounts, correspondence, and legal administration.

Roman London’s First Voices by Roger Tomlin is an illustrated, in-depth look into the fascinating research of the writing tablets.

For more information on the tablets, visit MOLA.

Bloomberg’s new European headquarters

In December 2010, Bloomberg embarked on the construction of a new building in the heart of the City of London. Located between the Bank of England and St. Paul’s Cathedral, the new site occupies 3.2 acres and provides approximately 1.1 million square feet of sustainable office space, two new public spaces featuring specially commissioned works of art, a retail arcade that will reinstate an ancient Roman travel route, and the London Mithraeum Bloomberg SPACE.