Traces of wall decoration in the endonarthex and ex-onarthex
Tomb VI of the domus de janas necropolis of Sant’Andrea Priu known as “Tomba del Capo”, was reused for Christian worship in two different periods, reaching the present day as a consecrated church dedicated to Sant'Andrea.
The domus de janas is formed by eighteen rooms; the three largest rooms are arranged in length (fig. 1) and underwent considerable transformation during the paleo-Christian, Byzantine and Medieval ages, becoming a narthex, room and presbytery (bimah).
The entrance room (eso-narthex or external narthex) was created from the original pre-historic ante-cell. It is sub-rectangular, 4.20 metres wide, and 1.50 metres deep, with an average height of 2.10 metres. A door with an architrave placed horizontally above the two supporting structures leads into a semi-circular room (endo-narthex or internal narthex) with a 7 metre diameter, where the floor contains several hollows dating back to the pre-historic age concentrated around a circle and two tombs from a Byzantine Age (fig. 2).
The endonarthex ceiling reproduces the ceiling of pre-Nuragic age huts: it is a little hollowed, in the shape of a shell, decorated with radial grooves that start from a semi-circular relief work (fig. 3).
A door 2 metres high and 1.45 metres wide, topped by a visible architrave, leads from the narthex to the room (figs. 4-5).
When the burial site was converted to a church, these two area (esonarthex and endonarthex) kept their original details from the Prehistoric Age The only transformation is on the digging of two tombs in the floor of the endo-narthex during the phase of use in the Byzantine Age. The traces of red ochre (fig. 6) found on the ceiling are from a prehistoric age, while traces of plaster above the architrave are attributed to reuse of the room during the Middle Ages.
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