Istituto Nazionale di Archeologia e Storia dell'Arte

The Eastern Sanctuary Sacellum

The structure consists of three areas standing in line, of which only the central one has been investigated. The latter, square in plan, houses the remains of an altar, the large base of a statue set against the back wall and some recovered important architectural elements that testify to the presence of other buildings in the area. The sacellum remained in use until the time of late antiquity and was secularized and abandoned after A.D. 406, in compliance with the imperial provisions on the abolition of pagan cults and the demolition of their temples. The closing ritual is witnessed by the presence of 350 coins, many of which date back to the second half of the fourth century A.D. and the large number of fragments of oil lamps associated with them. The discovery is of fundamental importance not only for the overall history of the sanctuary but also for the understanding of the cultic practices and rituals in the delicate transition from paganism to Christianity.

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