Archaeological excavations sheep pen Vette Piccole
(photo by: E. Vettorazzo)

The human presence in the Park dates back to ancient times and is documented by finds of great value.
The first traces date back to the Middle Paleolithic: about 40,000 years ago, the Neanderthal arrived on Mt. Avena to hunt big mammals. After about 10,000 years – in the Upper Paleolithic – Homo Sapiens Sapiens appeared in the area to extract and process flint.
Following presences are witnessed in Val Cismon by the finding of under rock shelters and a burial dating back to about 12,000 years ago.
Since 6,000 years ago (Neolithic) the introduction of agriculture and breeding activity has gradually forced man to become sedentary, and thus the first villages were built.
Evidences of these settlements have been found near the small town of Vignui, in Pedavena, and in Ponte nelle Alpi. The finds discovered in Val Cordevole, Val Falcina, and on Mount Talvena witness the presence of man during the Bronze Age.
The Iron Age was characterized by several different people and cultures. Celtic influences involved Belluno, Cadore, and Alpago, while in Mel and Cavarzano there are important evidences of the presence of people coming from Asia Minor, the so-called Paleoveneti.
The area of Feltre was subject to Rhaetian influences, as witnessed by the objects found in the heart of Feltre citadel, which was already fortified before the Roman rule.