Beram is one of the oldest continuously populated settlements in Istria. Explorations of the prehistoric necropolis on the south slopes of Beram have shown with certainty that during the iron age a settlement already existed here. A conical hill above a fertile valley was an ideal place for a hill-fort type settlement, surrounded by a simple rough wall following the terrain configuration. Over the ruins of these walls Roman forts and medieval castles were later built. A radial street pattern founded in some ancient times has been preserved in Beram untill today.
The Beram hill-fort of the first phase (untill the VIII century BC) enclosed about thre same area the town includes today. Entrance is at a place that is still being used as an auxilliary entrance, and local people call it „the small gates“. Outside the hill-fort wall, at the southern hillside, was the necropolis – a place to burn and burrow the dead. As the hill-fort settlement was later spreading down the southern hillside the necropolis kept moving to be beyond the outside wall.
Beram was one of the most important centres of medieval Glagolitic literacy. Students („žakans“) from most parts of Istria would come to study with Beram Glagolitic priests. They left testimonies of it written in Glagolitic script on the margines of Beram liturgic books, or carved with a sharp object into fresco-painted walls of the little church of St. Mary „na Škrilijinah“ (of the Rocks). Several illuminated XIII and XIV century. Glagolitic manuscriptscome from Beram, including a fragment o a homilliary (collection of sermons), and a richly painted missal and a breviary from the XIV century.