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My altar is not the altar the ancient Hellens would have used.
An altar is one of those basic necessities within Hellenismos, and it differs from a shrine.Becasue of this, the term 'eschára' is controversial but still correct in relation to the previous.Lets look at these altars in a bit more detail; first the bômos.Where an altar is a 'work space', dedicated not so much to a specific deity, but used to do the bulk of the (daily) rituals, a shrine is a devotional area where an altar might be located.In ancient Hellas, the shrine was usually a temple, the altar an actual altar, standing outside of it.The sacrificial altars were either square or round, sometimes with an indentation on the top for a fire, or sometimes with a hole, leading down to an eschára.
An altar for libations or blood sacrifice could have a drain for the liquid.
Household worship took place at a multitude of shrines.
Labeling something a shrine, does not mean you can't sacrifice at these spots in your home; every Hene Kai Nea and Noumenia, I offer libations of mixed wine and incense at my shrine to Apollon, Hermes and Hekate, every Noumenia, I offer mixed wine and incense to Zeus Kthesios at His shrine in my kitchen, and ever Agathós Daímōn, I make a libation of unmixed wine at His shrine.
An 'eschára' (ἐσχάρα) is the term for a low-lying altar used in burnt-offerings for heroes, demi-Gods and (nature) spirits.
It was sometimes located under the bômos, and was sometimes used for sacrifices for the Khthonic Theoi.
The sides were sometimes decorated--and if they were decorated, the decoration was usually pretty impressive--but the altars were usually plain, apart from an inscription naming the deity the altar was dedicated to.