Temple People: Bioarchaeology, Resilience and Culture in Prehistoric Malta [Hardback]

Simon Stoddart (Editor); Ronika Power (Editor); Jess.E. Thompson (Editor); Bernadette Mercieca-Spiteri (Editor); Rowan McLaughlin (Editor)

ISBN: 9781913344078 | Published by: McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research | Series: Fragility and Sustainability - Studies on Early Malta, the ERC-funded FRAGSUS Project | Volume: Volume 3 | Year of Publication: 2023 | Language: English 512p, H280 x W216 (mm)

Temple People


The ERC-funded FRAGSUS Project (Fragility and sustainability in small island environments: adaptation, culture change and collapse in prehistory, 2013–18) led by Caroline Malone has focused on the unique Temple Culture of Neolithic Malta and its antecedents. This third volume builds on the achievements of Mortuary customs in prehistoric Malta, published by the McDonald Institute in 2009. It seeks to answer many questions posed, but left unanswered, of the more than 200,000 fragments of mainly commingled human remains from the Xagħra Brochtorff Circle on Gozo. The focus is on the interpretation of a substantial, representative subsample of the assemblage, exploring dentition, disease, diet and lifestyle, together with detailed understanding of chronology and the affinity of the ancient population associated with the ‘Temple Culture’ of prehistoric Malta. The first studies of genetic profiling of this population, as well as the results of intra-site GIS and visualization, taphonomy, health and mobility, offer important insights into this complex mortuary site and its ritual. These data and the original assemblage are conserved in the National Museum of Archaeology in Valletta as a resource for future study.

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