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Title: Insularity and isolation : Malta and Sicily in prehistory
Other Titles: Malta in the Hybleans, the Hybleans in Malta : Malta negli Iblei, gli Iblei a Malta
Authors: Bonanno, Anthony
Keywords: Malta -- Antiquities
Sicily (Italy) -- Antiquities
Prehistoric peoples -- Malta
Prehistoric peoples -- Italy -- Sicily
Islands -- Malta -- History
Islands -- Italy -- Sicily -- History
Issue Date: 2008
Publisher: Officina di Studi Medievali
Citation: Bonanno, A. (2008). Insularity and isolation: Malta and Sicily in prehistory. In A. Bonanno, & P. Militello (Eds.), Malta in the Hybleans, the Hybleans in Malta: Malta negli Iblei, gli Iblei a Malta (pp. 27-37). Palermo: Officina di Studi Medievali.
Abstract: While Malta and Sicily have a certain degree of insularity in common, there are several differences of a geographical nature between them that have generated very diverse cultural developments in their respective prehistoric biographies. While Sicily is a large island (it is in fact, the largest island of the Mediterranean) and the distance that separates it from the European continent is negligible and an easily surmountable obstacle, the Maltese archipelago consists of five small islands, with a total surface area of only 316 km2, and lies much further away from the two continents,1 even if the 90 km stretch of sea that separates it from Sicily is surmountable, mostly because of the intervisibility of the two islands, albeit not without difficulties. While the geology of Sicily is reasonably varied, composed of both volcanic and sedimentary limestones and clays (the latter characterizing the formation of the Ragusano and the Siracusano, the closest Sicilian provinces to the Maltese islands), the geology of the Maltese archipelago consists only of sedimentary layers of hard and soft limestone, as well as one layer of clay. Consequently, whereas Sicily had in prehistory a ready supply of minerals like basalt, flint and ochre, all these were absent in Malta. Not to mention obsidian, which for the Sicilian inhabitants was within easy reach from the islands of Lipari and Pantelleria, while it was probably available for the Maltese ones only through the Sicilian intermediaries.
ISBN: 888861575X
Appears in Collections:Malta in the Hybleans, the Hybleans in Malta: Malta negli Iblei, gli Iblei a Malta
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