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Title: The engineering of the prehistoric megalithic temples in Malta
Authors: Torpiano, Alex
Keywords: Neolithic period -- Malta
Antiquities, Prehistoric -- Malta
Malta -- Antiquities
Megalithic temples -- Malta -- Design and construction
Engineering -- Malta -- History
Megalithic temples -- Malta
Issue Date: 2011
Citation: Torpiano, A. (2011). The engineering of the prehistoric megalithic temples in Malta
Abstract: The prehistoric megalithic structures of Malta and Gozo date back to a civilization of 4500 to 5500 years ago. Although now in ruins, their longevity is remarkable, and must be due to the inherent durability of limestone, properly selected, as well as to the underlying engineering principles and construction. Prehistoric civilizations are often, erroneously, perceived as technologically primitive, however these prehistoric structures are technologically remarkable. This paper proposes engineering principles underlying its longevity. Hitherto, many of the features of the extant structure have been explained as having “decorative” functions. The author suggests that these features should be assessed in the light of the possible engineering and constructional processes adopted; this approach is based on the belief that, particularly for civilizations in which energy resources were stretched, it would not make “resource” sense, if these features were not there for a specific purpose – it would not be, using modern terminology, sustainable.
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