Rock altar of Oschiri

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S'altare de Santu Istèvene

The Byzantine rock altar of Oschiri , in Sardinian S'altare de Santu Istèvene , is located opposite the country church of Santo Stefano outside the village of Oschiri in the province of Sassari in Sardinia . It is an elongated, sculpted rock outcrop made of granite .

The main elements of the altar are about twenty triangular and square (one is round) niches, which have been carved into the rock on the relatively smooth front. Some are framed by a row of bowls at the top . Immediately next to it is a stone with a round hollow in the middle, surrounded by a ring of smaller round recesses. There are three square depressions on the side of the outcrop.

The place where the rock altar and the church of Santo Stefano , built in the 16th century, stand, has been frequented since ancient times . Traces of prehistoric and Phoenician - Punic activities are present. The female head, which is attached to the church above a door with a lintel studded with symbols and probably depicts the goddess Astarte , probably belongs to the latter period . The church was almost certainly built in place of a Byzantine church. The unique rock altar carved into an outcrop probably dates from the Byzantine period (6th – 9th centuries) . The numerous triangular, square and round niches that were probably used to make offerings fall during this period. However, it is also possible that the altar is a pre-Christian sacrificial site that was only adapted in connection with the spread of the Christian religion in order to meet the new needs.

Near the altar, scattered in the bush, are about ten Domus de Janas (or Furrighesos , as they are called in Oschiri). A church stood in front of the altar until 1492.

See also


  • Rainer Pauli: Sardinia. History culture landscape. Voyages of discovery on one of the most beautiful islands in the Mediterranean. DuMont, Cologne 1990, ISBN 3-7701-1368-3 , ( DuMont documents. DuMont art travel guide ), p.
  • Jürgen E. Walkowitz: The megalithic syndrome. European cult sites of the Stone Age (= contributions to the prehistory and early history of Central Europe. Vol. 36). Beier & Beran, Langenweißbach 2003, ISBN 3-930036-70-3 , p.?.

Web links

Commons : Oschiri Rock Altar  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Coordinates: 40 ° 43 ′ 38.9 "  N , 9 ° 6 ′ 26.6"  E