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Mortuary Ritual of 4th Millennium bc Malta: the Zebbug Period Chambered Tomb from the Brochtorff Circle at Xaghra (Gozo)

  • Caroline Malone (a1), Simon Stoddart (a1), Anthony Bonanno (a2), Tancred Gouder (a3), David Trump (a4), Geraldine Barber, Carol Brown, John Dixon, Corinne Duhig, Robert Leighton and Patrick Schembri...

Abstract

As part of the research of the joint Anglo-Maltese project on the island of Gozo, a Zebbug period rock-cut tomb was discovered in the south-east corner of the Brochtorff Circle. The integrity of this tomb and the interdisciplinary approach applied to its study make it a unique find from the Maltese islands and rare within the southern central Mediterranean.

The article presents the stratigraphy, pottery, stone, shell and bone artefacts, skeletal remains, animal bone, molluscan samples, and radiocarbon dates from the tomb. At the same time the significance of the tomb for the formative phases of collective burial, exchange and symbolic processes in the central Mediterranean and the origins of Maltese insularity is explained.

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