THE NECROPOLIS OF MONTE TABOR
The necropolis of Mount Tabor is located in the south-east area of Vico del Gargano, in what was once the suburbs, but is now the center of town.
The area consists of three hills, it is partly occupied by buildings and associated structures and of all the ancient necropolis, which extended up to the current Piazza San Francesco for an area of about ha. 1,77.71, today only a small part remains.
The area has been subject to archaeological restrictions with the Ministerial Decree of 28/12/1994.
The necropolis of Mount Tabor is already talked about in 1876 in the book by A. Angelucci Prehistoric and historic researches of southern Italy (pp. 8-seq.) and, on the basis of these reports, many scholars have ventured on the subject trying to emphasise the importance of this area.
In the period between 1956 and 1964 the Institute of Anthropology of the University of Padova led a long series of expeditions on the Gargano and, among others, was also explored the necropolis of Mount Tabor.
The graves were located by Cleto Corrain in the sixties and, in the course of subsequent investigations, counted more than a hundred thickened in the hillside facing east.
The tombs of the Iron Age, carved into the bowels of the limestone grassy hill according to a ritual still not entirely known, were for several centuries used by community pervaded by the same ideology of death.
What practices and what funeral choirs accompanied the burial skeletons placed between ceramic outfits, jewelry, amber and bronze, it is not yet known.
Currently the number of tombs identified is much lower than those located by prof. Corrain, perhaps for the destruction of part of them occurred in recent years.
Of all burials traced, however, only a dozen were actually excavated and had an average size of 112,5x77,5 cm; among these, nine had human and animal bones.
The tombs were divided in order of sex: men, women, children.
Among the finds from Mount Tabor geometric decoration kantharoi , black paint skyphoi, impasto pottery, bronze fibulae and various ornaments.
The burial which provided more information is definitely no. 1 of which we were able to detect the exact measurements: 72.5 x 113 cm. The analysis of the skeletal remains found inside has identified six individuals including three male, two female and one young.
This tomb has provided most of the ceramic furnishings useful for the dating of the necropolis.
The furnishings found belong to two ceramics classes: a coarse, very thick, rich in degreaser material with an unpolished surface, used for large containers of common use (ceramic slurry); the other finer, smoothed yellowish clay, achromatic or colored in the surface in a uniform manner, or areas more or less narrow and perhaps to geometrical designs (decorated ceramic).
Besides the ceramics they were also found bronze fibulae, for violin bow and "spectacle" (among the finds also a fibula type Certosa) that, together with the glass necklace beads paste and amber worked pendant, represent the model of the funeral kit of the tombs in the Gargano.
The approximately one hundred graves tracked by prof. Corrain in the sixties, had the characteristic shape of a "bag", also called "pit" or "sack" (truncated pyramid section with a rectangular or elliptical base), around which was engraved a channel for the outflow of rain water; they were excavated at ground level, in the rock, unsuitable to welcome stretched burial, and were closed by limestone slabs.
The morphology of the burial ground of Mount Tabor, with 6-7 bodies buried in the tomb, and funeral indicating a time span between the sixth and fourth centuries BC, recalling the burial rites widespread in Northern Promontory, especially in Monte Saraceno (Mattinata) and Monte Civita (Ischitella).