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Cult in an Island Society: Prehistoric Malta in the Tarxien Period

  • Simon Stoddart (a1), Anthony Bonanno (a2), Tancred Gouder (a3), Caroline Malone (a1) and David Trump (a4)...

Extract

This paper examines the cult practices of the Tarxien period on Malta (c. 3000–c. 2500 BC) within the wider context of island societies. A model of ritual organization is developed which emphasizes the isolation of Malta during the major phases of temple building. A comparison is made between two pairs of sites each comprising a temple and burial component, Tarxien and Hal Saflieni, Ggantija and the Brochtorff Circle. A more detailed comparison is made between the more recently excavated examples: the Tarxien temple and the Brochtorff Circle mortuary complex. The latter is the subject on an ongoing Anglo-Maltese project directed by the authors. The analysis moves in turn from the constituent units (or modules) of which these sites are composed, to their overall configuration, and finally to their place in the landscape and to the place of Malta in the central Mediterranean.

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Cambridge Archaeological Journal
  • ISSN: 0959-7743
  • EISSN: 1474-0540
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