The Grotto of Santa Maria d’Agnano

Ostuni

The Grotto of Santa Maria d’Agnano

Roughly 3km from Ostuni, the grotto of Santa Maria d’Agnano is located inside the archaeological park of the same name, a 13-ha area where important finds have been unearthed. The grotto is a karst cavern used from the Upper Paleolithic until the 2nd millennium AD as a place of worship and for everyday activities. Inside it have been unearthed the remains of an adult hunter and a pregnant woman who died 25 thousand years ago, whose impressive grave goods consist of 600 seashells laid out around the body, as well as stone instruments and jewels. 
According to the findings, the cave must have been a Messapian sanctuary dedicated to the goddess Demetra, later on converted into a Christian place of worship and consecrated to the Madonna d’Agnano: there are still visible traces of frescoes, probably of Byzantine Age, and a small 16th-century chapel, decorated with a fresco depicting the virgin, the only survivor of a large cycle that once graced the church.

Strada Statale 16

Ostuni

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