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The Necropolis

ancient rests showing a necropolis with human skeletons
Fig.1 - an overall view of a part of the necropolis


From the middle of V century and the beginning of VI century A.C. the tank of late imperial age (G), now abandoned, is filled by earth, ruins of ancient buildings, fragments of white marmorean coating, polychrome ones and a lot of pottery. The materials gathered in this accumulated layers represent well the objects used in Neapolis in that period, both of local production and of importation from Africa (cups, plates, amphoras and oil lamps) and from East (plates and amphoras).

Successively, between VI and XIII century, age of the Angevin building construction, a necropolis is estabilished in the area.
About 50 tombs are, infact, identified and excavated; they are disposed on several levels and are partly damaged by the superposition of other tombs first, then, by the construction of successive structures.

ancient human rests
Fig.2 - a knight's burial (detail of spurs)

The discovered burials are mostly in terricolous pit; for some of them a wooden box can be assumed of whom slight traces remain in the ground, and for some of these, also the iron nails used to join the axes. Some of them, those of the west area, were made excavating a pit in some walls structures of Roman Age, for needs concerning room.

The tombs, generally with diversified orientation, in order to take up less room, concerne both adults and children, men or women (fig.1). They are without outfit except some of them, where different personal objects were discovered. Among them we can indicate: bronze buckles or iron ones of a belt, situated on the sides of the bacin; a circular silver earing decorated with little globes; two rings of whom one is golden with amethysts and one is silver, with fake collet with engraved two joined hands. A big interest is given by a couple of bronze pointed spurs with a smooth band bow and with a rectangular mail on a side, and a buttonhole on the other side, with moving buckle and plate, hooked to the buttonhole, both embossed with the portrayal of a rampant feline (fig.2). It can be considered an extremely important finding, bearing in mind the scarcity of archeological discoveries of this type of objects in Italy, allowing to assign surely to the deceased the status of knight.

Apparently doing a more careful chronological articulation, seems hard for the few objects provided by the graves and by the typological continuity of the objects themselves. For the buckles of the belt and the spurs, they already find comparison with funerary materials of the early MIddle Age, but they also seem diffused with similar typologies duting the Middle Age.