An ancient Greek altar for family worship dating back more than 2,000 years has been found in the archaeological site of Segesta on the Italian island of Sicily, local authorities said on Friday.
Sicily's regional government said the altar was probably in use at the height of Hellenic cultural influence, just before the rise of the Roman empire in the first century before Christ (BC).
It had been buried for centuries by a few centimeters of earth and vegetation in the area of the Southern Acropolis at the Segesta site, which is in the western part of the island.
"The Segesta site never ceases to amaze us," said Sicily's regional culture minister Francesco Paolo Scarpinato.
"Excavations continue to bring to light... pieces that add new perspectives and interpretations to a site where multiple civilizations are stratified," he said in a statement.
Other relics found
Segesta, renowned for its 5th-century-BC temple, was an ancient Greek city nestled between mountains.
Apart from the altar, archaeologists also dug out a similar-shaped relic that they believe may have been a support for a sculpture. Both finds are perfectly preserved, the regional government said.