9th - 8th CENTURY A.C.

The Iron Age

Between the 9th and 8th cent. B.C. Noàl castelliere was rebuilt even stronger by further raising the terreplein until it reached monumental dimensions which made it visible from afar. In order to counter the terreplein thrust, some buttresses were built on the inside, and next to them there were some small buildings used as housing and craft workshops. In the 5th-4th cent. B.C. (presence of ancient Veneti) the terreplein was further raised. Also during the Iron Age an extended phase of fires, caused by war events, caused the destruction of the castelliere.

Woman who grinds with a vase next to her

The drawing shows how wheat or other cereals were ground manually.
A “small and well graded” sandstone quern, similar to that in the drawing, was found in Noàl; it was certainly found on a river or stream bed in Belluno territory.

A vase, decorated with a notched cord, reminds the pottery fragments of Iron Age containers found in Noàl excavations.

Certosa type fibula and serpentine bow fibula

A bronze Certosa type fibula fastens the woman’s shawl: fibula is the Latin name of the safety pin used in ancient times to fasten clothing. It is made up of a pin (barb), a protective part (bow) which holds it fast on the fabric, the spring and the clamp which hosts and stops the sharp end of the pin. Depending on its shape it is possible to establish what age it dates back to. The Certosa type fibula (5th-4th century B.C.) owes its name to a necropolis in the Bologna area where large quantities of such fibulae where found. The other one is a serpentine bow fibula. In the drawing the parts of fibula found during the excavations are coloured, while the missing parts are just drawn.

Rebuilding of the castelliere

(9th- 8th century B.C.)

Between the 9th and the 8th century, a local community, which certainly had extensive engineering knowledge, chose again the top of the hill nowadays called Mirabèi (lit. “nice view”, due to its scenic view) to build their fortified village, where there was already one (destroyed by fire) in the Bronze Age.
It was the period when several castellieri rose on the top of a lot of hills in Belluno and Feltre area (similarly to what happened above all in Venezia Giulia and Istria regions). Noàl castelliere was certainly very important because it controlled a territory crossed by those who needed supplies of metals (to be found in the Mis Valley, Agordo and Trento areas) which were of fundamental importance. As you can see in the picture, a lot of people worked to cut the trees, get the stone (by creating quarries nearby where there is abundance of sass mort [lit. dead stone]), dig ditches and transport all materials (also stones and earth). They chipped the rock to lay down stones, they modelled part of it (rise “B”), they raised a terreplein by creating some terraces (bank “C”). By using vertical and horizontal logs well tied up and filling them up with earth, pebbles and stones without mortar, they put up various orders of palisades. With stones and horizontal poles, they raised two big towers on the two heads of the terreplein (rises “A” and “B”) whose rubble masonry walls (one part is still visible) where filled with material. In order to safely support the terreplein, some buttresses were built on the inside: from the centre they radiated towards the terreplein into which they entered to be tied to the structure. Some small buildings were raised against the buttresses. It was a monumental structure which was visible from far away and which was meant to awe with the show of such strength. Nonetheless, all this was not enough later on when there were strong tensions and unrest in the area: the castelliere was burnt down again, probably due to war events.
Archaeological excavations have shown evidence of great fires which caused extensive destruction in the Iron Age layers. After a certain period, in the 5th-4th century (with ancient Veneti) the castelliere rose again and was raised even further.

Roman fibula

Roman hinge fibula in silver found during excavations in Noàl, which can be dated back to the last thirty years of the 1st century B.C.
Until now it is the only evidence of the presence of people on the Mirabèi hill also during the Roman age. It is likely that the Romans had only a sentry post at Mirabèi. One of their important roads leading to Belluno (some argue it was Via Claudia Augusta built in 15 B.C.) crossed Longano, Santa Susanna hill, Triva, Pasa, San Fermo and Salce.