The Paleolithic

Palaeolithic Daunia can be identified with the promontory of Gargano. Geomorphologically, the landscape towards the coast is characterized by small hills and terraces leading towards the sea.

Various settlements have been found, both in caves and outside, some with signs of habitation, others with different functions, such as places of worship and worksites for stone-cutting.

Among the most important is the settlement of Paglicci, located on the southern side of Gargano, at Rignano Garganico, on the border with the plain of Foggia.

Some wall paintings were found in the internal room of a cave. In particular there are two horses, one of which in a vertical position, and there is a series of hands, some of which obtained by the direct impression of hands spread with colour, others done by spraying colour around the fingers. There are also some rather deep graffiti, which sometimes form stylized figures.

The skeleton of a boy of about 13 years of age was found in the cave. He was in a lying position, his head turned towards the right, his right forearm completely bent towards his arm and his hand turned towards his face. Perforated deer teeth had been used for his headdress, his bracelet and his ankle bracelet. The tomb ornaments included graters, an awl, a graver, a small block of haematite.

Later another burial was found. This was a female skeleton of 18-20 years of age. She was also in a lying position, her head leaning forward towards the left, her arms parallel to her chest. The tomb ornaments included graters, two gravers, a blade, a large shell, while her headdress was formed of a diadem made with seven perforated deer teeth.

The skeletons date to 25,000-23,000 years ago. According to scholars, the human fossils can be attributed to the Cro-Magnon human type, quite widespread in Europe in the Later Palaeolithic period.