A freestanding structure analogous to a precinct wall, usually 3-4 feet in height, built to enclose a well or pit; or, in the Greek and Roman world, surrounding a sacred area. Plain, utilitarian well-heads used merely as safeguards were common throughout the Roman Empire, as well as those adorned with glyptic representations of items such as garlands, lyres or other relevant symbols, such as the hammer of Vulcan. A well-head of religious significance, such as the one found at the Sanctuary of Fortuna Primigenia at Praeneste, sometimes had a temple structure incorporated around it in the form of a circular parapet supporting a monopteros, or that of a building called a tholos.

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