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Title: The ritual environment : the context of the Circle
Other Titles: Mortuary customs in prehistoric Malta : excavations at the Brochtorff Circle at Xaghra, Gozo (1987-94)
Authors: Grima, Reuben
Malone, Caroline
Stoddart, Simon
Keywords: Megalithic monuments -- Malta -- Gozo
Xaghra Stone Circle (Xaghra, Malta) -- Surveys
Santa Verna Temples (Xaghra, Malta)
Ggantija Temples (Xaghra, Malta)
Megalithic temples -- Malta -- Gozo
Excavations (Archaeology) -- Malta -- Xaghra Cliffs
Prehistoric peoples -- Malta -- Gozo
Funeral rites and ceremonies -- Malta -- History
Brochtorff Circle (Xaghra, Malta) -- Surveys
Hypogeum (Xaghra, Malta) -- Surveys
Issue Date: 2009
Publisher: McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research
Citation: Grima, R., Malone, C., & Stoddart, S. (2009). The ritual environment: the context of the Circle. In C. Malone, S. Stoddart, A. Bonnano, D. Trump, T. Gouder & A. Pace (Eds.), Mortuary customs in prehistoric Malta : excavations at the Brochtorff Circle at Xaghra, Gozo (1987-94) (pp. 57-62). Cambridge: McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research.
Abstract: The Circle is located on the southern crest of the Xagħra plateau, between two distinct centres of ritual activity, the early temple complex of Ġgantija to the east, and the now-ruined probable temple at Santa Verna to the west. The Circle stands on elevated ground at 460 feet/138 m asl, and is the highest ground on the south of the Xagħra plateau other than a small knoll beside Santa Verna to the west. As shown in de Brocktorff’s original drawings of the excavations, the location was identifiable because the distant views recorded in the sketches were distinctive and are still recognizable today. The preference for a naturally conspicuous location that is evident at the Circle may also be noted at several other burial sites from the same period, such as San Pawl Milqi, Ħal Saflieni, Xemxija, and Żebbuġ. More detailed analysis suggests that the three foci (Santa Verna, the Circle and Ggantija) may be linked by a natural processional way marked by monumental landmarks which survive more prominently between Ġgantija and the Circle. In fact as outlined on the plan, there may have been a structured passage of the corpse and funerary cortege from one location to another involving a stepped ascent via the contour close to the monument and passing along a naturally level surface in between.
ISBN: 9781902937496
Appears in Collections:Mortuary customs in prehistoric Malta: excavations at the Brochtorff Circle at Xagħra (1987-94)
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