The necropolis of Castelluccio, intercepted by the linear route of the methane pipeline, was divided in two sites, A and B areas, about 36 yd. away. Area A, extending 120 square meters (43,7 x 3,3 yd.), has returned 6 burials of which only 2, t. 7 and the t. 8 are frameable in the classical age, while the others, of which only one is included , fall within the horizon of the medieval era. Area B, with a surface area of ​​1600 square meters (87,5 x 21,9 yd.), highlighted 35 depositions. The funerary area documents the presence of a small settlement that developed in the space of a few generations between the first half of the sixth and the first half of the fifth century BC The museum collections are a representative selection of the organization of the funeral ritual of the necropolis: the t. 8 of area A and tt. 12, 16, 24, 25, 28, 29, 31, 35, 41 of the area B.

The distribution criterion of funerary structures, with the presence of burial mounds, reflects the kinship relationships expressed with the proximity and uniformity of the guidelines observed in the burial. The mounds are intended to accommodate the central tomb and the presence of the crepidine, as in the case of t. 25, is functional to the expression of rank. The subsequent insertions are only represented by childish depositions to enchytrismos. The earthy sepulchral pit, with stone covering, is for the exclusive use of the individual, only in the case of t. 41 a stone table for deposition is obtained.

The funeral structures usually have a niche protected by the mound itself, a sort of flanking in the middle position to the right of the deposition with a variant consisting of t. 24 with storage room in the northwest corner. The destination of the space is made explicit by the housing of the olla within which the fastener is usually stored. The dough jug is the only attestation of t. 16, placed in a gap in the northern stone wall, to be considered a reduction of the lateral niche.


Composition of vascular kits

The vascular kit does not constitute a constant of the funeral ritual. When present, the composition is limited to two specimens in direct physical association placed in the lateral niche (tt.12, 24, 25, 28, 29, 31, 35, 41), with the addition to the basic service, only in the more recent and final phase of the necropolis, of a third specimen, the cup, inserted inside the depositional space near the right lower limb (tt. 25, 28). The repertoire of classes and shapes proposed is limited: they are attested in the ceramic mixture dough jug, small amphora, mug, in the subgeometric one olla and cup, in bucchero cup and anphora, in the achromatic ceramic the olla. The offer of the olla is a reiterated proposal, generally in association with the toothpick deposited inside, but it can also be a single presence (T. 24).

The olla is usually achromatic, tt. 12, 24, 25, 29, 35, with the exception of tt. 31 and 41, which propose monochrome subgeometric decoration. The ladle responds to different ceramic classes, the function performed is attributable to the amphora, the mug and the monoansed cup. The repertoire is exemplified by the dough amphora tt. 12, 29, from the dough mug, t. 35, from the small hole in bucchero, tt. 25, 28¸ from the subgeometric plate inside which the dough amphora is deposited, t. 41, or the subgeometric cup t. 31. This vascular kit is indifferently supplied with female individuals, tt. 12, 24, 41, and masculine, tt. 25, 28, 29, 31, 35 and are not used to discriminate sex.


Dough ceramic

The fine dough would seem to refer to the oldest production documented in Castelluccio Valmaggiore: the pitcher of t. 16, the amphora of t. 29, the mug of t. 35; with decorations limited to plastic elements that articulate the grip of the mug and to the motif impressed with pseudo-twine with a zig-zagging line on the shoulder, also repeated in the coarse-shaped amphora of the t. 41.

The small amphorae and the mug have precise comparisons in the Campania's territory, especially in the Sarno valley. While the specimen of amphoras of the t. 29 has a wide mouth inferior to the maximum diameter, a prominent shoulder, a depressed and tapered body, that of t. 41 documents a more slender and rounded type with vertical ribbed loops set between rim and maximum diameter. The small amphora has evidence in Campania, Molise and in Samnite (Alfedena and Fossa).


Sub-geometric ceramic

The olla of the tomb 31, which can be seen in the production of the North Daunian Subgeometric I , has an elongated body with a linear pattern that marks the upper half of the body and decorative system in the frame of the loops. The olla of t. 41 for shape and decoration has a wide diffusion in northern Puglia.



The productions have typical characteristics of the heavy bucchero of the Campania type. The small anphora with expanded rim, the depressed body, the ring foot and the vertical ribbing loops set at the hem offers variations with respect to the rim flare, the maximum diameter, the inclination of the lugs. The specific comparisons with the production of dough indicate the circulation of this product between northern Puglia and lower Molise . The formal reference is to the type Albore Livadie 1F of phase V (570-520 BC) , e a Cuozzo-D’Andrea 12C1 e 12C2 . The presence of this type, with the loops set on the edge , in Alfadena, in the first decades of the fifth century BC, it is considered an expression of affinity with production of mixture of Samnite area and Meso-Adriatic spread.

The distribution in the Daunia area involves Macchia Valfortore, Arpi, San Severo, Tiati, Bovino and Carlantino, to which Fiorentino can also be added. The other shape in bucchero is the truncated-cone cup on a ring foot with an extruded edge. The specimens of the tt. 25 and 28 offer a dimensional variant, similar to the Rasmussen type 9 = Albore Livadie 18B . The recent classification of Minoja allows to frame it in the B1 type of smaller size spread between 520 and 470 B.C. with wide circulation in Campania. Limited circulation is rebuilt in a Samnite environment, in the Meso-Adriatic area between Lazio, Abruzzo, Alfedena, and Molise. In the Daunia territory the type is attested to Tiati, San Severo, Arpi, Bovino and Ordona.


Achromatic ceramic

The analysis of the examples of Castelluccio immediately highlights the exemplary of the t.12, characterized by a coarse and porous dough and by a form not very common in contemporary contexts. The other specimens, tt. 24, 25, 29, in female burial, tt. 28, 35 in male burial, are in fairly purified hazelnut or yellow-pinkish clay with rare large enclosures, covered with beige not uniformly coated. The specimens are generally provided with three or four clew on the shoulder. These ollas are widespread in a vast field that extends from central-northern Puglia to Molise.


Weapons and tools

Prerogative of only male individuals is the set of weapons and instruments limited in the repertoire and in the choice of materials: the spear cusp, the knife, the iron spits and the bronze razor. The attribute spear of valid young and adult males has two variants, a flattened blade with a central rib, a smooth cannula cavity tt. 8 and 35 and narrow thin tapered blade with short cannon cannula, t. 29. The knives are traceable to the type with a rectangular section shank for the insertion of the handle in perishable material with a continuous profile blade and sinuous shape tt. 28, 31, 35 or straight tt. 8 and 24. The razor is documented by rectangular or trapezoidal blades with a back reinforced by a thin ribbon fixed by nails, prolonged for a short distance and folded to form a handle (tt. 8, 28, 29).

The instrument is clearly distinctive of the adult male and is an indicator of the passage of status. The spear cusp is at the height of the skull, tt.29, 35, or leaning against the long side of the pit, t.8. The spits are right against the edge of the pit. The knife is placed at the height of the enclosure indifferently to the right t. 35 and left tt. 8, 28, 31. The bronze razor is placed between the ankles in t. 29 o in the bucchero cup t. 28, next to the left elbow, t. 8.

There is no regular system, considering the association variants attested:
t. 8 spear cusp + knife + razor
t. 29 spear cusp + skewers + razor
t. 35 spear cusp + knife
t. 28 knife + razor
t. 31 knife


Ornaments and funeral costume

The clothing provides for both sexes as part of the costume a single fibula or a pair of fibulas at shoulder or chest height. The women's costume is much more articulated, with pendants suspended from the fibulas themselves and belts made of vegetable fibers and completed with suspension rings, knotlocks. The jewelry in the simplest versions are for the exclusive use of women and sub-adults.



The attested metals are silver, limited to the exemplar of t. 16, bronze and iron, the latter sometimes embellished with amber and bone pearls. The bronze fibulas are rare and limited in this specific context to the exemplar of the t.41 with a simple arc ; wider use of the iron fibulas, present in the variants with simple, lowered, enlarged arch; recurrent is the type with a long curly or globular bracket, generally with a "J" section.

Fibulas with covered arc are present with two specimens in the grave 16 and as a single presence in the t. 12 and in t. 24. The production, which appears in the first half of the VII but becomes common in the sixth century B.C. with great diffusion in Daunia, is mainly made of iron, rarely in bronze.



The presence of suspended pendants with fibulae constitutes an element of distinction of the dead of the graves 12, 24, 25. Suspended on the fibula with a composite arc is the pendant of t. 24, consisting of two bronze tubes and three axled bone pendants, decorated with nut eyes arranged on horizontal ranks. The finding of the 25 is a fringed iron pendant with truncated conical elements with a sticky summit tied by an iron wire. In the sixth century BC, the type in the bronze version has a territorial circulation in the Meso-Adriatic area . T. 4 proposes two bronze rings suspended at the fibula.



Amber, bone, glass paste, cyprea are the materials that adorn the women of the necropolis of Castelluccio, tt. 12, 16, 24, 25, 41 . Particularly precious jewelry is the amber necklace with decreasing bullas. The bulla can be rounded, globular discoidal, more or less flattened, oval; has a short peduncle with a sticky or more frequently tubular shape with a horizontal hole for suspension. More frequent is the use of the amulet made with the single bulla as in t. 24. Simple necklaces highlight drop-shaped pendants and stylized cyprea in t. 16 , shown in t. 24. Our contexts are inserted in a phase of the second half of the VI-beginning of the V century BC.


Suspension rings

Suspension rings are distinguished by continuous profile melted rings and circular rod without decoration, t. 24, rings to disc with juxtaposed garments, with decoration with circles embossed and arranged in zigzag, t. 41. The most elaborate version with alternating lath ovules or double lath ovules is reserved for graves 12 and 25C. In Castelluccio the use as bracelets and suspension rings is exclusively feminine with single specimens, or with duplication in t. 41, placed at the right upper limb.

These products emerge for the finishing of products obtained by full melting. The weight makes these objects difficult to wear on wrist or hanging from belt, so the use could be exclusive of parade clothes. The type has particular diffusion in Lazio and Campania territories and the Samnite area. The use of these rings in the female tombs is alluding to the sphere of fertility with explicit reference to reproduction in virtue of the symbolic value of the circle symbolizing the faculty of generating and giving birth.

We can recall the different location of the rings in a central-Italian environment with placement on the basin, with an emphasis on the role of mothers of the deceased.

Vincenza Distasi