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The Archaic age
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The archaic age spans the period dating from the 7th century BC to the last decades of the 5th century BC. This period was characterized by the tendency to reorganize the inhabited areas on the basis of a proto-urban plan, probably under the strong influence of the Hellenizing wave that had been affecting the entire region of central and southern Apulia since the beginning of the 6th century BC. During this period, the three peoples previously identified collectively as Iapygians and now called Dauni, Peucetii and Messapii became established.
The organization of the territory and the opening of new routes that allowed more stable and continuous relations with the Greek world and, in some cases with the Etruscans, spurred a sizeable demographic growth. The local settlements positioned themselves on dominant spots, capable of controlling the entire surrounding territory, according to a pattern which lasted until the advent of Rome.
As far as the dwellings are concerned, we move from thatched huts to rectangular plan cabins with a foundation consisting of a low dry wall, wooden frame sides sealed by un-fired bricks and covered by pottery roof tiles. Normally they featured only one Eastward facing room and the outside areas were partially covered. Inside the home there was a hearth and clay stove. The economy was still based on farming and sheep rearing. Weaving was thriving, as the great deal of loom weights and fuseruole (spindle balancing beads) found in the excavations demonstrates.
The necropolises were composed of pit-like graves dug in the rock with inhumation in the foetal position. The funereal paraphernalia consisted of a few vases and some metal ornaments. There began to appear Pottery and weapons (helmets) originating from Greece; from the colonies of Magna Graecia or from bordering nations like Enotria; and even metal artefacts from Etruria. The production of pottery items is characterized by geometric pottery which shows great diversity among the Apulian regions. As far as Peucetia is concerned we see thin depurated mixtures of clay and a mainly bi-chromatic decoration. Beside the geometric motifs (triangles, lozenges, and checkered patterns) there are animals, like chickens or stylized human figures. From the manner vases were made we can date to this period the introduction of the potter’s wheel, which allowed considerable stylistic changes in the geometric pottery from Peucetia, transforming it into the linearly decorated pottery that remained in production until the 4th century BC.

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