Origins of Valle d’Itria

The slope that from Ostuni descends  towards the sea was already inhabited in the Paleolithic period dating back to about 30,000 years ago as evidenced by the archaeological remains found in the cave which nowadays are part of the Archaeological Park of Ostuni, one of the most important archaeological sites in Valle d’Itria. This was the residence in which a small community of hunters settled permanently. From that height they could more easily control the migrations of the animals they fed on, mainly horses and wild oxen. Bush-meat  together with wild-berry picking was the only form of sustenance. At that time, spontaneous tall  conifers grew all around; olive trees will be planted in a much more recent era. The cave holds the skeleton of Delia, a pregnant woman about twenty years old, strong and tall, who had been buried with all honors destined for a goddess, as evidenced by the funeral decorations found on her body.

To the III millennium BC,  the Bronze Age, belong the important archaeological remains found near Locorotondo in the districts of Grofoleo, Badessa, Monte del Forno and in the  Grotta di Nove Casedde  in the territory of Martina Franca in which complete burial urns have been found. From the time of the Longobard domination, during the VI-VII century, the primitive settlements expanded thanks to pastoralism and agriculture. The communities of Valle d’Itria developed around the farms and become specialised in the application of new agricultural techniques and production of dairy products.