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The Peuceti were an ancient people living in Peucetia, the area southwards the modern Bari (Terra di Bari), Apulia, in southern Italy. This is mentioned by the ancient Greeks and old historians, and the area is described as being divided into Daunia (the modern province of Foggia), Peucetia and Messapia (the modern province of Lecce). The three cultures are generally listed under the collective names of Iapyges.
These people settled there about 700 BC and soon became influenced by the Greek culture, due to the Greeks' establishing colonies in the area. The most important centers created by the Peuceti were Sannace, about five kilometers from Gioia del Colle, and Rubi (Ruvo di Puglia). The Peuceti probably settled together with the Dauni and Messapi in the 11th century BC, coming from Illyria over the Otranto channel and expelling those Illyrians who had already settled in the area four or five centuries before. Starting in the 4th century BC, the Peuceti were subdued by the Roman Republic.
The economy was based on cattle breeding and handicraft, which lead to the development of the spinning mill and wool weaving. The contacts with the colonies of Magna Graecia were important, first with Metaponto and also with Taranto. This is confirmed by the finds of coins and vases. The contacts and wars with the Messapi were also numerous.