6th – 12th A.D.

The Middle Age

The first tall fortified wooden structure in historical age (a tower) should date back to the Goths (6th century). The first important defensive work dates back to a later period: it was a tower made of stones bound with mortar and a terreplein made of palisades and large stones. This was the first structure to be called “castle” (of Mirabèi, Mirabello). It was made up of a tower, fortified walls and some buildings (houses and workshops) around a rainwater basin (pool). It was definitively destroyed, by the joint troops of Belluno and Feltre led by bishop Gerardo de Taccoli, in 1196 during the wars against the Municipality of Treviso which had occupied his territories.

Shepherd shearing a sheep

The small bell around the sheep’s neck and the small spring shears, used by the shepherd to shear the animal, remind some of the metal finds recovered in Noàl, where sheep-farming was certainly practised.
The container nearest to the shepherd, in the shape of a sphere, called olla, was placed directly on the fire to cook food. The other one, called basin lid (made up of two parts), could be used as a common container and, turned upside down as lid to cook under embers.
They were both made of ceramic having a rough mixture (containing small calcareous inclusions) in order to resist thermal stress. Various fragments of this kind of containers have been found.

On the left: a knife used as a defence-offence weapon and a small knife which was carried in a sheath hanging from one’s belt; it was used to cut food.

On the right: the tip of a crossbow dart used in spinning arrows; thanks to its power it could pierce also the thickest cuirasses.

Papal edict

This papal edict was sent in 1185 by Pope Lucius III to bishop Gerardo de Taccoli: it contained rights and privileges as well as the property and goods over which the bishop had spiritual and temporal jurisdiction on behalf of Belluno Church.
This was the same bishop who, 11 years later, definitively destroyed Mirabèi castle to conquer it back from the Treviso troops who had occupied it.

Pilgrim’s staff ferrule

The iron ferrule found in Noàl is extremely rare: it is the lower end of a pilgrim’s staff, a typical stick used by pilgrims during long journeys (as you can see in the drawing).
The one recovered during the excavations has a central square tip (to rest on the ground) and another four small tips enclosed by a ring (to fix the tip to the wooden stick). It was used as support, but also as a defence-offence weapon.

Overview of the castle from the north

Aerial view of the hypothetical last medieval fortified structure (Mirabèi castle) made up of a strong tower of rocks bound by mortar (about 12 – 13 metres high), a terreplein, walls, a raised post to guard the only entrance gate, a small bank with a palisade before of the gate and lastly some buildings (small houses, sheds, craft workshops, etc.) placed inside the walls around a rainwater collection basin.
On the southern side, a deep ditch made it difficult to attack the tower for those coming from the flat area overlooking Sedico.