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The Archaeology of Malta
From the Neolithic through the Roman Period


Part of Cambridge World Archaeology

  • Date Published: September 2015
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107006690

£ 116.00

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About the Authors
  • The Maltese archipelago is a unique barometer for understanding cultural change in the central Mediterranean. Prehistoric people helped reshape the islands' economy and when Mediterranean maritime highways were being established, the islands became a significant lure to Phoenician colonists venturing from their Levantine homeland. Punic Malta also sat at the front line of regional hostilities until it fell to Rome. Preserved in this island setting are signs of people's endurance and adaptation to each new challenge. This book is the first systematic and up-to-date survey of the islands' archaeological evidence from the initial settlers to the archipelago's inclusion into the Roman world (c.5000 BC–400 AD). Claudia Sagona draws upon old and new discoveries and her analysis covers well-known sites such as the megalithic structures, as well as less familiar locations and discoveries. She interprets the archaeological record to explain changing social and political structures, intriguing ritual practices and cultural contact through several millennia.

    • There is no comprehensive and detailed book such as this that covers the period from human colonization to the Roman period in the Maltese archipelago
    • This is an up-to-date synthesis of archaeological finds recorded in excavation reports and sources that are not readily available
    • Includes new illustrations, updated maps, and plans and finds pertaining to all periods, as well as an extensive and exhaustive bibliography on ancient Malta and related fields
    • Offers fresh ways of interpreting the archaeological data, challenging how we view cultural change, land use and people's adaptability in an island environment
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'This academic but engagingly written volume covers over 5,500 years of human activity on Malta from the arrival of Neolithic temple-builders to the followers of Mithras, a cult popular with Roman soldiers … though aimed at the scholar rather than the traveller, the comprehensive gazetteer of sites will prove useful for both.' Caitlin McCall, Current World Archaeology

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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2015
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107006690
    • length: 470 pages
    • dimensions: 262 x 180 x 41 mm
    • weight: 0.91kg
    • contains: 66 b/w illus. 2 maps 5 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Malta's archaeological past
    2. The first settlers and farmers
    3. The culture of the megalith builders: the Late Neolithic of Malta
    4. Pushing boundaries at the end of the megalithic building period
    5. New directions: the appearance of the axe-bearers
    6. East meets west: Phoenician mariners, merchants, and settlers
    7. Melita and Gaulos during the Punic Period
    8. Malta's place in the Roman world.

  • Author

    Claudia Sagona, University of Melbourne
    Claudia Sagona is a Senior Fellow in Archaeology at the University of Melbourne. She is the author of several books on Malta, including Looking for Mithra in Malta (2009), and the editor of books including Ceramics of the Phoenician-Punic World (2011) and Beyond the Homeland: Markers in Phoenician Chronology (2008). Her articles have appeared in academic journals including Anatolian Studies, Anatolia Antiqua, Ancient Near Eastern Studies, Mediterranean Archaeology and the Oxford Journal of Archaeology. In recognition of her contribution to Malta, she was made an honorary member of the National Order of Merit of Malta in 2007.

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