Automatically translated from Basque, translation may contain errors. More information here. Elhuyarren itzultzaile automatikoaren logoa

An altar dedicated to the Basque god Larrahe is discovered in Larumbe

  • It is a stone piece from the 1st century and another written testimony of the Vascó n.El discovery has been made by researchers of the Society of Aranzadi Sciences in the site of Mount Arriaundi.
Argazkia: Aranzadi Zientzia elkartea

17 June 2024 - 10:30
Zarata mediatikoz beteriko garai nahasiotan, merkatu logiketatik urrun eta irakurleengandik gertu dagoen kazetaritza beharrezkoa dela uste baduzu, ARGIA bultzatzera animatu nahi zaitugu. Geroz eta gehiago gara, jarrai dezagun txikitik eragiten.

Researchers of the Society of Sciences Aranzadi have found in Navarra an altar dedicated by a woman, Valeria Vitella, to the Basque god Larrahe. It is a stone piece from the first century and a new written testimony of the Vascon. It contains a Latin text in which Larrahe is written. In Larumbe it is discovered in the site located on the top of Mount Arriaundi.

Coordinated by Aranzadi members, the piece has been analyzed by experts from different areas: Experts from the University of the Basque Country and the Universities of Barcelona, Burgos and Pau.

It was discovered in 2022 in an excavation that was taking place in the medieval monastery of Doneztebe / Santesteban. The altar is a testimony of the cults to gods and gods in the Roman era. The piece was found in a well located on the sides of the monastery. According to Aranzadi members, the piece has not been found in its original location, as it is designed to stand, be visible or legible. They don't know if they purposefully put him or threw him there.

In most altars of the Roman era the name of the god or goddess they worship and the name of the person who makes the dedication usually appear. In this case, the text Valeria Vitella says. It is built in a monolithic block of calcarenite and on its top it has a circular focus. Through it, rituals were made, such as spilling wine or burning some kind of incentive. It contains a text divided into five lines:




m(erito? )·La·r-




The discovery has expanded the famous field of worship of this god. So far, three more altars have been found in Muruzabal Andión (Mendigorría, former Andelo), Irujo and Errezun, only in the Arga River basin and in the Basque territories near the Gesalatz River.

Writing details

The linguists Joakin Gorrotxategi and Javier Velaza are some of the experts who have analyzed the piece. They give some details about writing, like the suffix, which is shaped like a vasconic dative. That is, it answers the question for whom: in this case for the god Larra. In addition, they have highlighted that nowadays, due to its relationship with the Basque Country, it can be a god related to culture or territory.

They also highlighted the letter R. Although on the altar on Saturday the name of the god appears written with a single r, in other places the name also appears with a double r. This means that the r at the time is related to the hard r that the Basque country has.

The letter H is also an indicator of the relationship of the text with the Basque country. This letter marks the sigh, and according to the experts, only the Aquitan or Vascon, languages directly related to the Basque Country, had that sigh.

Juantxo Agirre Mauleon, archaeologist of the Aranzadi Society, explains more details of the discovery in an interview held in Euskalerria Irratia.



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