The votive stone of the chapel of Espiño
The chapel of Espiño is a rectangular based building equipped with an inner courtyard, a semi-open atrium protected by a gabled roof that is supported by six granite pillasters that appear to be crowned with geometric capitals.
On this you can read:
Marti/S (ulpicius) Velinv/ (s) V (eteranus) Alae/ (----) de s (uo) / (Posuit?)...
“Sulpicio Velino, an Ala veteran....? Made himself this inscription to Mars”.
The carved bucranium on the votive stone was used for sacrificial acts or immolation vic-tims. This carving represents a skull of an ox that, frequently acted as ornament on some Greek and Roman constructions. In our region this can also be found on the Tomonte fountain (Terroso; Vilardevós). This motif is evidence of the high degree of Romanisation in the area of Monterrei, which holds some of the treasures that this civilisation left in the northwest of the Iberian Peninsula two thousand years ago.
The inclusion of this “ox skull” (that literally means bucráneo) on the altars and buildings leads us to remember the sacrifice with religious motives of this animal, an authentic to-tem relating to strength and fertilisation.