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Title: Dating Maltese prehistory
Other Titles: Mortuary customs in prehistoric Malta : excavations at the Brochtorff Circle at Xagħra (1987-94)
Authors: Malone, Caroline
Stoddart, Simon
Cook, Gordon
Higham, Thomas
Reimer, Paula
Keywords: Excavations (Archaeology) -- Malta -- Xaghra
Tombs -- Malta -- Xaghra
Burial -- Malta -- Xaghra -- History
Prehistoric peoples -- Malta -- Xaghra
Funeral rites and ceremonies -- Malta -- History
Tarxien Temples (Tarxien, Malta)
Ggantija Temples (Xaghra, Malta)
Issue Date: 2009
Publisher: McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research
Citation: Malone, C., Stoddart, S., Cook, G., Higham, T., & Reimer, P. (2009). Dating Maltese prehistory. 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. 341-346). Cambridge: McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research.
Abstract: Absolute dating of the deposits at the Circle was considered a priority from the outset of the research, and sampling of the excavated deposits focused on retrieval of suitable material throughout the seven seasons of work. Only thirteen prehistoric-Temple and Tarxien Cemetery phase radiocarbon dates existed for Malta before the present work was undertaken. However, these earlier dates were instrumental in enabling the development of the 'Wessex without Mycenae' debate (Renfrew 1973), which recognized the independent and remarkably early development of island cultures such as Malta in the late Neolithic. Given the importance of the chronological sequence, it is unfortunate that no work between 1963 and the present research project, from 1987, undertook any sampling or dating. This is particularly important with respect to the thinly dated main Temple Period itself. However, this lack of dating was not confined to Malta, and many studies of Mediterranean areas similarly failed to address the collection of samples for radiocarbon dating (Skeates & Whitehouse 1994). It should be noted that the earlier dates collected by David Trump were all based on carbonized materials (the recommended material for sampling in the 1960s), with the only really reliable samples coming from the cinerary urns and their contents from Tarxien. The remaining radiocarbon ages are from carbonized fragments associated with deposits within layers and floors from sites. They provide an indication of date, but in many cases, the charcoals could have been residual within the soils of the sites, and clearly, in one or two cases, they must have been (e.g. BM-142).
ISBN: 9781902937496
Appears in Collections:Mortuary customs in prehistoric Malta: excavations at the Brochtorff Circle at Xagħra (1987-94)

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