The following paper constitutes an introduction into the subject of my research thesis that I will be developing for the next three years within the International Graduate School “Resonant Self-World Relations in Ancient and Modern Socio-Religious Practices”. My research project desires to introduce new perspectives and research questions into the study of altars that have, unfortunately, rarely been the primary focus in the studies of Etruscan religion.
My current paper will have the dual role of presenting, in the first part, the current state of research regarding the topic so as to emphasize the main lines of analysis that have been conveyed concerning this subject and to further propose the need for new perspectives in regards to it. It can be easily noticed throughout the historiography that the altars were mainly seen through the perspective of architectural elements, with emphasis on their morphological typology, while only a few articles present a more general approach regarding the altar as the focus within the ritual ceremony. Therefore, I am suggesting the need to provide a new approach towards a reading of this phenomenon. The second part of the paper will be dedicated towards introducing the main focus points of the research project that I will be taking into consideration for its development. I propose that the altar should be seen as more than a simple architectural element or even more than an element of ritual behaviour, but as an object and place that connects the individual with the world, hence the approach of self-world relations.