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Title: Understanding bone disarticulation within a prehistoric cultural context : a reinvestigation of a Tarxien phase burial pit from the Xagħra Circle, Gozo, Malta
Authors: Micallef, Nicole Faye
Keywords: Human remains (Archaeology)
Cave temples -- Malta -- Xaghra
Issue Date: 2015
Abstract: The study of disarticulated bone, both in Malta and overseas, is a field of archaeological research which is still in its infancy but major developments have been made over the past few years in this field. The excavation of the Xagħra Circle was a major development for Maltese archaeology and produced a great amount of material and data which is of great importance to the understanding of prehistoric mortuary practices. This study focuses on one burial pit located beside the threshold which gives access to the main hypogeum. This pit contained a single articulation buried beneath a significant amount of disarticulated, fragmented and commingled human bone as well as an amount of animal bone and a few fragmented artefacts. This reinvestigation of the pit aims at extracting more data from this material to aid a better understanding of the mortuary practices of this prehistoric society. A selection of human bone fragments from the entire assemblage excavated from the pit was utilised in this study. These fragments were studied and documented with the aim of gathering more data and inferring whether any of these fragments joined together to form part of a single bone. Any joins discovered would potentially inform us about the formation of the stratigraphy within the pit. No joins could be identified, possibly due to the deteriorated condition of the bone fragments but, nevertheless, inferences about the pit could still be made through the consideration of the whole human bone assemblage, artefacts, stratigraphy, and other data from the pit. A comparative study of many of these data with various studies, on local contexts as well as foreign ones, revealed further information about the possible mortuary practices of the prehistoric society responsible for the creation and usage of the Xagħra Circle hypogeum.
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacArt - 2015
Dissertations - FacArtCA - 2015

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