After the fall of the Roman Empire Egnazia was gradually abandoned and the peoples moved into the interior, and gave life to the ‘cave dwelling’ civilization between the 9th and 14th centuries AD. This was a phenomenon linked to city life proper and the development of the hamlets. These settlements were placed in the so-called lame (rain-gulleys), or small valleys created by fluvial erosion. The softness of the local stone allowed sandstone rock to be excavated and to build domestic dwellings, workshops for agricultural activities, churches and cemeteries, often grouped in proper villages. Today there are about 25 recognizable rock settlements, even if not all of them are easily reached. Among the most important of them is that of Lama d’Antico, one of the biggest in Puglia, with a beautiful church-crypt, which has been recently restored, with two naves. There is also the settlement of San Lorenzo which houses some of the most well preserved pictures and the San Marco settlement where there are caves used as rooms and for monks’ cells.