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Title: Apotropaia prehistoric and ancient amulets from the Maltese Islands
Authors: Bonanno, Anthony
Keywords: Malta -- Antiquities
Amulets -- Malta
Neolithic period -- Malta
Temple period -- Malta
Bronze age -- Malta
Malta -- History -- Classical period, 218 B.C.-535 A.D.
Malta -- History -- Phoenician and Punic period, 8th century B.C.-218 B.C.
Excavations (Archaeology) -- Malta
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: Fondazzjoni Patrimonju Malti
Citation: Bonanno, A. (2012). Apotropaia prehistoric and ancient amulets from the Maltese Islands. Treasures of Malta, 53(2), 11-18.
Abstract: Human beings have always manifested their preoccupation with invisible forces, real or perceived, that surrounded them and impacted on their lives and activities. They often resorted to using objects, naturally or artificially produced, such as animal horns and cowry shells, to ward off evil forces (thus the adjective 'apotropaic' or 'apotropous', from the Greek verb apotrepein, 'to turn away') or to propitiate beneficent ones. An even more direct measure to protect themselves was to wear such devices on their body, preferably somewhere visible, on the head as part of a headdress, as rings on the fingers, as bracelets on the arm, or as pendants hanging from the ears or round the neck. Some pendants could also be worn for personal ornamentation or for prestige and social status, especially if they had intrinsic aesthetic value, such as brilliance or colour, or were rare to come by, or had exotic origins. The following contribution, however, is concerned only with amulets, that is, those pendants that are known, or presumed, to have been worn as charms against evil, disease or witchcraft, or as talismans to promote health and wellbeing.
Appears in Collections:Scholarly Works - FacArtCA

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