The Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore di Siponto is a church in Manfredonia, Apulia. The church was completed around 1117, when it was consecrated (perhaps in place of a pre-existing 6th century Palaeo-Christian edifice) and the relics of Laurence of Siponto where put under the high altar.
The building has an unusual square plan, consisting of two independent churches (one, underground, is the current crypt), two apses on the southern and eastern walls, and a medieval monumental portal with two side lions, facing the road entering in Manfredonia.
The interior, with four pillars, dates to the 11th century, and once housed the icon of the Holy Virgin of Siponto, dated to the 7th century. The icon is now in the Manfredonia Cathedral, as well as the polychrome wood Byzantine statue of La Sipontina (6th century) The underground church dates to the early Middle Ages, and was replaced by the upper one after having been destroyed by an earthquake.References:
Monte d"Accoddi is a Neolithic archaeological site in northern Sardinia, located in the territory of Sassari. The site consists of a massive raised stone platform thought to have been an altar. It was constructed by the Ozieri culture or earlier, with the oldest parts dated to around 4,000–3,650 BC.
The site was discovered in 1954 in a field owned by the Segni family. No chambers or entrances to the mound have been found, leading to the presumption it was an altar, a temple or a step pyramid. It may have also served an observational function, as its square plan is coordinated with the cardinal points of the compass.
The initial Ozieri structure was abandoned or destroyed around 3000 BC, with traces of fire found in the archeological evidence. Around 2800 BC the remains of the original structure were completely covered with a layered mixture of earth and stone, and large blocks of limestone were then applied to establish a second platform, truncated by a step pyramid (36 m × 29 m, about 10 m in height), accessible by means of a second ramp, 42 m long, built over the older one. This second temple resembles contemporary Mesopotamian ziggurats, and is attributed to the Abealzu-Filigosa culture.
Archeological excavations from the chalcolithic Abealzu-Filigosa layers indicate the Monte d"Accoddi was used for animal sacrifice, with the remains of sheep, cattle, and swine recovered in near equal proportions. It is among the earliest known sacrificial sites in Western Europe.
The site appears to have been abandoned again around 1800 BC, at the onset of the Nuragic age.
The monument was partially reconstructed during the 1980s. It is open to the public and accessible by the old route of SS131 highway, near the hamlet of Ottava. It is 14,9 km from Sassari and 45 km from Alghero. There is no public transportation to the site. The opening times vary throughout the year.