Scientific Area » Longobard History » The Longobard Necropolis
THE LONGOBARD NECROPOLIES
Although not all settlements have been explored, the identification of the pattern of Longobard settlement is made possible by the distribution of their necropolises, which were situated in areas rich in natural resources, integrated into the ancient roman settlement grids, or close to rustic and aristocratic villas. this fact allowed them to reutilize the provided construction materials in the erection of new houses, churches, and funerary monuments.
In northern Italy, the largest diffusion of the great necropolises, those with over 300 tombs, occurs in plains, and along roads starting from urban centers, such as in the districts of Verona, Mantua, Brescia, Bergamo and Turin.
In hilly or pre-Alpine areas instead, burial places generally include few large tombs belonging to landholding families.
From the beginning of the sixth century to the middle of the seventh, well-known examples in Nocera Umbra, Castel Trosino, Leno, Cividale del Friuli show as burial places were characterized by the traditional practice of dressing the departed in full traditional garb.
Therefore, grave goods are still one of the most important signs of the Longobards presence in Italy. Yet, it must be underlined that in the last years our knowledge of the first immigratory phase settlements, with their timber huts partly below the ground, has greatly improved as well. New and more updated excavation records have increased our knowledges even on particular power cerimonies and funerary rituals (horse burials, Houses of Death, bandaged skulls), which contribute to outline a more and more complete overview of this society.