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Title: The economic history of Roman and Byzantine Malta
Authors: Bonanno, Anthony
Keywords: Archaeology -- Malta -- History
Economic history -- Study and teaching -- Malta
Romans -- Malta -- History
Excavations (Archaeology) -- Malta
Malta -- Antiquities
Issue Date: 2007
Publisher: Journal of Roman Archaeology LLC.
Citation: Bonanno, A. (2007). The economic history of Roman and Byzantine Malta. Journal of Roman Archaeology, 20, 519-524.
Abstract: With one major and a couple of minor episodes, the exceptional archaeological heritage of the Maltese islands has been the exclusive domain of British archaeologists since the archipelago came under British rule in 1802: Themistokles Zammit a distinguished Maltese doctor, dominated the archaeological scene during the first three decades of the 20th c., and then a German scholar (Albert Mayr) and an Italian a{chaeologist (Luigi Maria U goHni) made some inroads but were never allowed to conduct excavations. Throughout the long colonial period (1802-1964), the British government never made an effort to set up the necessary local mechanism for training curators of the island's archaeological heritage. It was only in 1939 that J. B. Ward Perkins was appointed professor of archaeology at the then Royal University of Malta, presumably with the intention of starting such a process of transfer of expertise. But that was not to be, since Ward Perkins' appointment had to be abandoned because of the War. In this scenario, and against the pre-independence political background of the early 1960s, the concession by the Maltese government to an Italian archaeological rnissione from the university of Rome and the Universita Cattolica di Milano to conduct monumental excavations on three major sites was an ideological (religious and culturat as well as political) statement by the ruling Nationalist Party. The mission conducted 8 annual archaeological campaigns employing tens of local workmen, again, however, without the training of local archaeologists as part of their remit. The final campaign took place in 1970, on the eve of the return to government of the Labour Party, which had a quite different ideological agenda'
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