FROM DAUNI TO THE ROMAN ERA
Several times, the ancient sources speak of Gargano connecting the promontory to unidentified cults and villages and inhabitants whose recognition is still topic of discussion by philological and archaeological research.
On the border with the territory of the Apuli, which stretched from the northern headland to the limit of the territory of Arpi, the Gargano continues to figure itself like an island that only the Hellenisation of the IV-III century BC lead into entering the same cultural framework of the rest of the region.
During the period of maximum development of the Dauna civilisation, characterised by a world full of religious cults and a thriving artistic culture, the Greek colonisation began to replace its own customs to those passed on.
In the earlier phase of the Iron Age were privileged sites in the vicinity of the sea which, by their morphological characteristics, lend themselves better to accommodate human settlements.
The displacement of settlements in areas furthest from the sea, like Mount Tabor dating from the VI-V century BC., does not find justificatory evidence of internal or external elements.
The Gargano becomes part of the Roman civilization in the second half of the fourth century BC when, in the fight against the Samnites, the daune cities supported Rome.
During the Roman period the Gargano will be enriched by many cities as Argos Hippium (Arpi) and Sipontum (Siponto), important city for culture and economic development, partly due to the maritime trade and to the position of "bridge between the West and the East."
Major centers along the Gargano coast were Merinum (Vieste), Portus Garnae (Rodi Garganico), Portus Agasus (Portogreco) and Matinum or Apeneste (Mattinata); inland there were Uriah and Devia.
In late antiquity these centers will be gradually transformed into many "vici", real settlement units that will give life to future inhabited medieval Gargano.