What do most large offices offer their employees; a coffee machine, a car park perhaps, and, if they are lucky, a rather lacklustre Christmas party? Well, media giant Bloomberg are going one better - they are trying to reconstruct a Temple to the Roman god Mithras underneath their new office block.
It’s not that Bloomberg are seeking to encourage employees to convert to the ancient religion, it is simply that their premises are above the spot occupied by a Mithraic temple in AD240. The temple is not a new discovery; it first came to light in 1954 when Legal & General were building an office block in London. Immediately after the discovery, work on the building was stopped for two weeks so people could see the remains before they were moved. Hopefully, by 2016 the remains will return to their original home. The Museum of London Archaeology is already excavating the site using a team of over 50 archaeologists, and so far they have uncovered 10,000 items.
How do researchers know what the temple looked like? Sophie Jackson, an archaeologist at the Museum of Archaeology, London, explained that whilst they have good records from 1954 and a team of stone masons to rebuild the temple using the original excavations, they have no information about the colour of the temple, or the mortar that was used.
This may be where you can help, as the archaeologists are asking people who saw the 1954 dig to contact them with colour photos, cinefilm or memories of the occasion.