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Protohistoric necropolis – Mel

Via Tempietto 99 – 32026 Mel (BL)

The archaeological area in Mel displays the remains of a necropolis of the ancient inhabitants of the Veneto region. In this area the archaeologists could find approximately 80 graves and seven burial enclosures, four of which are still visible today.

History of research

The excavations were carried out by the General Direction for Archaeological Heritage in the Veneto region between 1958 and 1964.

Urban and geographical context

Mel is located in the Valbelluna, a wide valley in the province of Belluno, between the Belluno Prealps and the southern Dolomiti mountains. Mel is at 351 metres above sea level, in a mountainous environment with hilly and also flat areas that have been occupied by human settlements. The archaeological area is located 500 metres far from the city centre, on the way to Belluno, and it is in an almost flat area.




The four burial enclosures (A, B, C, D), have round shape and diameters between 2,25 and 4,20 metres. The enclosures are defined by sandstone slabs (minimum and maximum measure of the slabs: 15 x 50 cm and 40 x 70 cm) that are vertically fixed in the ground. The entrance to the burial enclosures was represented by vertical slabs that would mark the doorposts and by a horizontal slab that would mark the threshold. Three of these enclosures have been found empty by the archaeologists and this allows to infer that the planning and arrangement of the necropolis might have happened before its real use. The excavation data suggest that the enclosures supported some soil mounds that covered and protect the graves.
Within each enclosure the archaeologists have found one or more graves which are constituted by local stone boxes with a ceramic or bronze vase inside. The vase contained the ashes of the dead, who had previously been cremated on pyres, together with the grave goods, which today are displayed in the local Civic Museum. The good craves that have been found in this necropolis indicate that this area has been used between VIII and V century B.C.


Admission: Su prenotazione

Visitability: Interno

Ticket: No

School access
Upon reservation

Opening Times

Recommended tour time (minutes): 40

Educational Services

Information boards

Guided Tours
Upon request


Fogolari G. 1961, Mel (Belluno), in Rivista di Scienze Preistoriche, XVI, pp. 261.
Mangani E., Rebecchi F., Strazzulla M.J. 1981, Emilia, Venezie (Guide Archeologiche Laterza), Bari, pp. 199.
Calzavara Capuis L. 1984, La zona pedemontana tra Brenta e Piave e il Cadore, in Il Veneto nell’antichità. Preistoria e Protostoria, II, a cura di Aspes A., Verona, pp. 850-852.
Chieco Bianchi A.M., Tombolani M. 1988, I Paleoveneti. Catalogo della mostra sulla civiltà dei Veneti Antichi, Padova, pp. 137-138.
I Paleoveneti nel Bellunese 1993, Verona, pp. 49-60.
Bonetto J. 2009, Veneto (Archeologia delle Regioni d’Italia), Roma, pp. 490.

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