The Oschiri area is very inviting for walking in nature to discover historical monuments, among which the most surprising is the rock altar of Santo Stefano.
Today we will take a walk in the countryside, among rolling hills…
Domus de janas
A few hundred meters northeast of Oschiri there is the archaeological site of Santo Stefano.
We reach a plateau, where the view sweeps over the surrounding green hills and the more distant mountains.
We continue following dirt roads and paths in the middle of meadows and groups of trees.
You don’t need to walk far to reach the first groups of rocks, worked by man in ancient times… and from here on it is a succession of domus de janas, scattered in the nature!
We find some niches just sketched out in the rock and hypogea with a more complex structure, with an atrium and several rooms inside them.
The site is vast and there are numerous archaeological traces of the past: in addition to the domus, there are also a menhir and a dolmen. The necropolis dates back to the III-VI millennium BC.
The rock altar
Among the trees in front of the church, a very particular structure stands out, the rock altar, consisting of a large granite wall, ten meters long and three meters high, in which various hollows dug out of geometric shapes alternate. It consists of a large granite wall, ten meters long and three meters high, in which various hollows dug out of geometric shapes alternate. We find triangular, square, circle or semicircle niches; some are decorated with cup marks, while others are decorated with engraved Greek crosses.
The monument is unique in Sardinia and its dating uncertain; historians have not yet managed to establish who created this work and with what function, even if the context suggests a religious value – at least for the period around the Middle Ages.
In the surroundings there are also other smaller rocks, which have some niches and workings similar to those of the altar.
The Church of Santo Stefano
The small sixteenth-century church in front of the altar was built on the remains of a Byzantine cult building. It has a rather simple structure, with a rectangular plan, with access doors on two sides.
At the time of our visit, the church was not accessible, so we limited ourselves to observing it from the outside.
The size of the site allows us to choose another route for the return… And so we have the opportunity to discover new domus, surrounded by luxuriant vegetation.