The Longobards in Romans d’Isonzo

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Romans d'Isonzo (Gorizia) - 45.88751, 13.44035

The Longobards in Romans d’Isonzo

The nobles’, the warriors’ and common people’s  lifestyle through the evidence  of a rich necropolis.

 


 

Romans d’Isonzo has a unique archaeological heritage: one of  the largest necropolises in Northern Italy. “Necropolis” means “ city of the dead”, a graveyard, and in Romans it belonged to the Longobard people. It was accidentally discovered in 1986 during construction works in an abandoned field. It was fully disclosed through successive stages and it contains 334 tombs. Archaeologists  found a large number of objects that demonstrate that in Romans there was an important Longobard community.


Through the study of the finds, scholars established  that a group of warriors with their families settled in Romans. This happened at the beginning of the large Longobard migration in 586 A.D. They came from Pannonia (today Hungary) and, guided by Alboino, arrived in Italy passing through our region where they founded the “Duchy of Friuli”.


Romans is in a strategic position because it is near the main roads built by the Romans and precisely those which took from Aquileia (an important Roman commercial and economic center) to Forum Julii ( Cividale del Friuli) and Aemona (Lubljana).





Moreover, Romans is situated at the confluence of three rivers: Isonzo, Torre and Judrio.


The need to control these roads explains the presence of the Longobard warriors and their families.

 

 


Once the excavations and the studies were over, the necropolis became an archaeological park.


The park is not a typical museum, but a place where you can see how archaeologists work and how the  Longobards lived. 


The most interesting aspect is that you can try  to do the same things they did.


In fact two local associations: “Invicti Lupi” ( a historical re-enactment group) and “I Scussons” ( a research group) deeply involve the visitors.


You can touch finely reproduced clothes, accessories, and equipment.


You can listen to the tales of the Longobards’ feats, watch  their lifestyle and fighting techniques.


For a few hours you can go back in time more than 1000 years.

 


Every year the first classes of Romans primary and secondary schools take part in various activities.

 

 

In the leather manufacture laboratory “Invicti Lupi” taught us how to make a purse.


After giving us the equipment: a string, two pieces of leather and a needle, they showed us the manufacturing steps. We learnt how to cut and riddle the leather and properly knot the string. Finally, by sewing the leather pieces together, we made the purse.


 

You can also see the  Longobards’ weapons and the fighting techniques. We have even tried them (with due precaution).








Moreover, you can learn how to use sticks, lances, swords, and axes.


The purpose of these activities is to show how actions meant to attack and hurt in the past have become sports in the present ( i.e javelin throwing or other sports )

 








What treatments and cures was it possible to have when there were no hospitals nor chemists?


Through the study of herbalism we have understood  the Longobard  remedies for toothache or other diseases.

 


It is cool and interesting to work clay and metal: it helps us realize how much time and skill the Longobards needed to create vases and jewels.

 










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