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Title: The archaeological sequence of the circle
Other Titles: Mortuary customs in prehistoric Malta : excavations at the Brochtorff Circle at Xagħra (1987-94)
Authors: Stoddart, Simon
Hardy, Peter
Malone, Caroline
Mason, Simon
Pedley, Hugh Martyn
Trump, David H.
Keywords: Xaghra Stone Circle (Xaghra, Malta)
Hypogeum (Xaghra, Malta)
Brochtorff Circle (Xaghra, Malta)
Antiquities, Prehistoric -- Malta -- Xaghra
Excavations (Archaeology) -- Malta -- Xaghra
Issue Date: 2009
Publisher: McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research
Citation: Stoddart, S., Hardy, P., Malone, C., Mason, S., Pedley, M., & Trump, D. (2009). The archaeological sequence of the circle. In C. Malone, S. Stoddart, A. Bonanno, D. Trump, T. Gouder & A. Pace (Eds.), Mortuary customs in prehistoric Malta: excavations at the Brochtorff Circle at Xagħra (1987-94) (pp. 79-93). Cambridge: McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research.
Abstract: The Circle has eight major phases of development: a geological phase of cave development and natural cavity formation; a period of Zebbug funerary use; an insubstantial phase of Ggantija funerary use; a substantial phase of monumental Tarxien funerary use; a Tarxien Cemetery domestic occupation (or at least non-funerary use); an insubstantial Borg in-Nadur occupation; an early nineteenth-century excavation; and a later nineteenth-century and twentieth-century agricultural use of the site, initially for vine cultivation, but latterly for less intrusive horticulture. More poetically the Circle developed like many ritual sites, including the Christian cathedrals of western Europe, by a process of foundation, florescence, closure and/or iconoclasm and changed use. The cultural use of the site was founded in the Zebbug phase, reached a climax of exuberance in the Tarxien phase and changed use in the Tarxien Cemetery phase. This process occupied a wider cycle of time than that of the individual life cycle whose conclusive ritual formed the main activity on the site. We can thus see a series of nested scales of cycles of time, ranging from that of the individual human life to the construction and reconstruction of the local culture over millennia (Chapter 14). In this chapter an overview will be given of the chronological and related spatial development of the whole site. The opportunity will be taken to dispose of the less-substantial archaeological phases, before concentrating in detail on the stratigraphic and spatial configuration of the key prehistoric phases in the subsequent Chapters 7 (Zebbug), 8 (Tarxien) and 9 (Tarxien Cemetery).
ISBN: 9781902937496
Appears in Collections:Mortuary customs in prehistoric Malta: excavations at the Brochtorff Circle at Xagħra (1987-94)

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