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Matera 2019

Sanctuary of Rossano

In Macchia di Rossano was found a monumental sacred complex of the fourth century. BC dedicated to the goddess Mephitis. The sanctuary is located at the intersection of numerous cattle tracks and near a spring, which is still active today. This is the confederation sanctuary of all Lucan people.

Its construction dates back to the fourth century BC, but the use of the site as a place of worship began around the middle of the century. You have access from the north-western side by a flight of steps, flanked by two fountains lion’s head.
Noteworthy is the system of water canals, two semicircular canals carrying the water to the eastern corner, avoiding elbow onto the altar and in the cloaca.

At a time when the city of Serra di Screener disposes of its military-political function by the Romans, in the sanctuary is attested the presence of a local senate, the Questors and censorship.

Around the square there are three monumental portico and functional spaces for worship. It ’still visible the altar and the remains of the base of the statue, never found, the goddess Mephitis.

Initially, the holder of the cult deity was the goddess Mephitis, goddess protector of Lucan breath water, fields, herds and fertility, his name means one who is in the middle and that performs a function of passage between heaven and earth , between the world of the living and the dead. Among the ex-voto found, a great foil embossed bronze depicting un’anfitrite riding a dolphin statues in bronze and marble, gold and silver, terracotta figurines of animals, as well as anatomical parts, healed as a result of water healthy.

In the sanctuary of the goddess Mephitis, over 50 inscriptions have been found, with a mix of greek alphabet, Oscan and Latin.

More than 1,000 coins, emphasize the importance and centrality reached the sanctuary until the time of his departure, which occurred just after the middle of the first century AC.