Necropolis

The systematic investigations allow to found two areas of necropolises, located outside the Messapian fortification which had been used in the Hellenistic and Roman periods and are defined, based on their position with respect to the walls, as southern and western necropolis. Inside the surrounding wall, instead, before the Roman period, also a necropolis along the coast and tombs linked to the scattered nuclei of Messapian period houses were in use. Some of these tombs have been located under the buildings of the Roman town.

The western necropolis, extending over the area close to the Museum, was affected, between 1978 and 1982, by archaeological investigations that shed a light on its different phases of frequentation. The older tombs date back to the Messapian period (mid-4th through the 2nd century B.C.) and belong to the following types: pit grave, semi-chamber tomb and chamber tomb. The arrangement of the three types of burial over three separate sectors leads us to relate them to distinct social groups with different opportunities to represent their status.

During the 1st century B.C., the funerary space is reorganized and delimited with two roads originating from the town. During this phase, burials are placed parallel to the roads and entail the rituals of inhumation and cremation. Starting from the 2nd century the two road axes fall gradually into disuse; tombs invade the roads and stop following a precise orientation. In the Middle Ages some of the Messapian chamber tombs are converted into real homes.

Pianta