The cavity was larger and became a relic pit, which could have a stair for access though not for the public, mainly in Dalmatia, Greece, Constantinople, Asia Minor and Palestine. It sometimes took on the appearance of a baptismal font esp. Cruciform and may be confused with it e.g. at Iunca in Tunisia.
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In contrast to the modest-sized casket, originally not visible, at least not entirely, was the reliquary in the form of a sarcophagus, called an oil reliquary, sometimes of large dimensions and made to be exposed and accessible to the public.
It had either a single hole at the top for the introduction of brandea strips of cloth to be impregnated or one hole at the top and one at the side, which allowed the circulation of liquid usually oil, which was collected after passing over the relics and taken away in containers ampullae-eulogiae. These great reliquiaries were particularly frequent in Syria and were separate from the altar: they were exposed in a room specially set aside as a martyrium, to the right of the apse in the limestone massif of NW Syria, to the left in Apamene. The same arrangement sometimes seems to be found in Asia Minor, Lebanon, Palestine and as far as Cyrenaica, where we see reliquiaries exposed to the public e.g. in niches in the rooms or lateral apses of the presbytery.
The veneration of relics in places further from the apse involves analysis of the functions of annexes see below.