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Title: Monuments in an island society : the Maltese context
Authors: Bonanno, Anthony
Gouder, Tancred
Malone, Caroline
Stoddart, Simon
Keywords: Megalithic monuments -- Malta
Antiquities, Prehistoric -- Malta
Issue Date: 1990
Citation: World Archaeology. 1990, Vol.22(2), p. 190-205. 0043-8243
Abstract: Island societies have been the focus of two principal lines of archaeological theory: the processes of initial colonization (Cherry 1981) and the transformations of social hierarchy (Renfrew 1974). Both these themes have been heavily influenced by ethnographic studies of the Polynesian islands, the supposed laboratory of island development for the disciplines of biogeography and social anthropology. It is the second line of enquiry that is considered here. This is a topic where monuments have been generally considered as correlates of social hierarchy. The more specific aim of the present paper is to assess the aims and results of recent fieldwork (started in 1987 and still in progress) on a recently neglected area, the prehistoric megalithic monuments of Malta or, more specifically, the smaller island of Gozo. The wider aim is to undertake this assessment in the light of a broader study of island societies, building on the theme covered by Evans over ten years ago (Evans 1977). In addition, it is hoped to enrich and question the simple models of social hierarchy employed up to now by exploring the insights of network analysis in island societies (Boissevain 1974) through the assistance of access analysis in the study of architectural plans (Hillier and Hanson 1984). Such analyses provide alternatives to the Hawaiian chiefdom-based model which appears too simplistic for a discussion of the full complexity of the Maltese evidence.
ISSN: 0043-8243
Appears in Collections:Melitensia Works - ERCASHArc

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