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umag_katoroThe area from Savudrija, Bašanija, Zambratija, Sipar, Katoro through Umag, Sveti Pelegrin and Sveti Ivan to Lovrečica is what we call THE RIVIERA OF UMAG today. The oldest traces of human existence in this area were discovered at the cape of Savudrija and were dated in the year 11.000 B.C. using radioactive carbon. The flint tools like scraper, little knives, kernels and fragments originate from this area and are proves of the settlement in the open area. The man who had used such tools was occuplied with hunting, fishing  and fruit gathering. The great migrations of the Indo-Europeans bring changes to us, as well. The new population uses and processes bronze, lives in patriarchate and builds settlement on top of the hills. Sometimes they build settlement  along the coast, as for example in Sveti Ivan and encircle them by strong town walls. In the 11th century B.C. the tribe Histri settles Istria: they burn their dead and put their ashes into an urn wich they burry in a grave made of stone plates. The area we live in was settled by the Histrian tribe Katala. The archaeological excavations near Kaštel have discovered 24 of such graves wich can be dated into the 7th and 6th century B.C.. Near Brtonigla a graveyard was also excavated and more than 150 urn graves were dicovered wich can be dated into the period from the  6th to the 2nd century B.C.. Thus we have come to the period of the first wars between Histrians and Romans. The Roman army waged a war against the
Histrians in the year 221 B.C. in order to punish them for the constant piracy and to secure the safe navigation to their ships. However, the Romans had to suspend the war due to the war with Hannibal, ands the Histrians proceded with piracy. In 181 B.C. the Romans established and built the colony Aquilea in the immediate vicinity of Istria as a base and a starting point for the war raids and for the economic and political penetration towards the east and to the north. The decisive war of Romans against the Histrians took place in 177 B.C. and ended with the total defeat of Histrians and the loss of their independence. During the take-over, one third of the land, made up of the coastal belt and the fertile plain in the inland, was taken away from the defeated Histrians and included into the state ownership as "ager publicus populi Romani". Thus the rich Roman families leading a pleasant pastoral life in this area increased their properties along with the intensive exploitation of natural goods, all of this taking place within their country-houses ( villae rusticae). Various obligations were imposed to the Histrians. The piracy was especially forbidden to them as well as any trade with theneighbournig tribes, since the Romans directed the overall trade to Aquilea. Large rustic villas were located primarily along the coast. They consisted of two parts: the residential part (wich provided housing for the owner) and husbandry buildings. The residential part was usually close to the sea and consisted of a range of covered and open areas according to the needs and possibilities of the owner. The production part consited of the residential area for the permanent "crew" of the country-house (mainly slaves) and the area for the food production to satisfy the needs of the country-house and for the sales of surpluses (for example wine, oil, cereals, salted fish) and handcraft workshops (ceramics, textile-waving and painting, blacksmithÕs and found-
er's workshop...). Near such a country-house there was usually a port - a pier equipped for the safe navigation and loading and warehousing of the conveyed goods. This area was well developed until the 4th century. The decadence in the Late Antique (from the 4th to the end of the 6th century) markes the beginning of social and spiritual changes. The continual struggle for power and the growing pressure of people who are moving, breaking in through the gate of Postojna in search for new places of living accelerate the fall of the Roman Empire. In the general twilight of the Roman Empire the Romans struggle to preserve their state with all possible means and build therefore the defence system for Liburnia to the Kvarner Bay, erecting fortified settlements - castles placed in vital positions (Silbio, Siparis, Humago, Sv. Petar, Kaštel, Grožnjan, Oprtalj). These castles had two functions. They were primarily providing a safe living place to their inhabitants but they also presented refuge to nearby settlemens. and secluded properties. The attacks of the Avars and the Slavs on Istria (599 - 611 A.D.), although followed by destructions, did not break the continuity of life. After the fall of the west Roman Empire in 476, Istria was under the authority of Ostrogothic kingdom, followed by Ravenna and the short authority of the Langobards. The Franks conquered Istria at the end of 8th century. During the period of the Franks the pulling down of the old social and economic relationships continued and the feudal reloationships got stronger. It is important to mention the "placit" of Razana from 804 wich provides data on the situation in Istria at that time. It can be seen from the "placit" that the Slavs tried to fit into the autochthonous structure of the population.

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