A year or so ago I decided to collect some of the online images of monuments of Mithras, and put them together on my site with some explanatory material. The reason is that I kept seeing some glorious images; with no idea what they were, or where they might be found. Of course a complete or professional collection is beyond me, but there is still value is sticking text under commonly found pictures. It is not always that easy, in truth, to find an image of a monument just by looking.
A little while ago I became aware that a relief of Mithras killing the bull was found by Italian police in Veii during a raid. It was hidden in a barn, and was intended to be sold to a Japanese collector for 500,000 euros. Little information exists in English, but I have a page on the item here.
But what I could not find – and I tried hard – was any pictures of the relief. All the articles – in Italian – had no images or just a fuzzy one of a barn with some cops hanging around it.
This evening I was making some technical changes to it, and I searched for “Mitra Veio” and drew blank. Then I searched for “dio mitra veio” (because one of the Italian articles talked about “Dio Mitra”), and clicked on the images tab. And … there it was! There were several images; not huge, but quite large enough! One showed the item upside down in the barn; another after restoration.
So now there is a proper page with the material on, and searchers will be able to find it.
But it is odd, you know? It’s like one of those fairy stories, where you can’t find something by looking for it. Instead you must be looking for something else, and it will just come along of its own accord. Which is why sites that index material are valuable.