New book on the mortuary customs of Prehistoric Malta
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Arts & Culture — 20 February 2010 — 10:30CEST

Amongst the earliest stone architecture in the world, the Neolithic temples and hypogea of Malta testify to a sophisticated island culture.
Explored in the early twentieth century, the subterranean burial temple, the Hal Saflieni Hypogeum, was cleared of its burials and artefacts without detailed record.

The book “Mortuary Customs in Prehistoric Malta: Excavations at the Brochtorff Circle at Xaghra, Gozo (1987-94)” book records the excavation, in the late twentieth century, at Xaghra of the rediscovered circle and a second cave cemetery that provides a unique comparison through the investigation of a substantial portion of the buried site using modern scientific techniques.

This revealed one of the largest prehistoric burial assemblages of human remains yet discovered in the Mediterranean, amounting to some 220,000 bones, together with a rich assemblage of animal bone, figurative sculpture, symbolic artefacts and architectural remains.

The detailed factual and interpretative report on this site, supported by fresh scientific data on raw materials, lands nails and environment, isotopes, radiometric dating and statistical analysis, is placed in the broader framework of the domestic and ritual landscape of the Maltese islands. The result is one of the most comprehensive studies of the incipient complexity of this mature, agricultural, but non-urban, island society so far published.

For any further info or confirmation of order and free delivery to a local address contact Edwin Catania at Midsea Books Ltd on or telephone 2149 7046.

The book is edited by Caroline Malone, Simon Stoddart, Anthony Bonanno and David Trump.

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