Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Maltese megalithic art : fertility cult or sexual representation?
Authors: Bonanno, Anthony
Keywords: Art, Prehistoric -- Malta
Issue Date: 1992
Citation: Bonanno, Anthony (1992). Maltese megalithic art : fertility cult or sexual representation?, In, R. Ellul-Micallef & S. Fiorini (Eds.), Collected papers : published on the occasion of the Collegium Melitense Quartercentenary Celebrations (1592-1992), (p. 75-91). Msida : University of Malta
Abstract: This article examines the various categories of anthropomorphic representations produced by the Temple Culture of the Maltese Islands (c. 3600-2000 B.c.) and tries to identify their meaning on the basis of their materiaI, size, iconography and context. The most characteristic group is constituted by the enigmatic obese figures currently known as "Mother Goddesses" or "Fat Ladies ". Their asexuality raises serious doubts on their traditional, "Mother Goddess" interpretation. The intended acephaly of several examples may suggest an ancestral meaning while a recently discovered specimen representing a group of two identical figures, with, one holding a miniature figure, recalls the trinary element in the pantheon of several ancient oriental religions. Furthermore, these asexual figures and a few others that are more overtly female and erotic in their iconography are offset by the presence of unequivocal male sexual symbolism. In summary, the evidence seems to lead to the conclusion that the Temple people's view of the world was dominated by the concept of complimentary opposition between the masculine and the feminine principles, rather than one dominated by an all-pervading Mother Goddess.
Appears in Collections:Melitensia Works - ERCFAVA
Scholarly Works - FacArtCA

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
  Restricted Access
997.52 kBAdobe PDFView/Open Request a copy

Items in OAR@UM are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.