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Title: Sicily and Malta 400-900 : historical and archaeological perspectives
Authors: Cilia, Amaria (2010)
Keywords: Antiquities, Prehistoric -- Malta
Sicily (Italy) -- Antiquities
Malta -- Antiquities
Issue Date: 2010
Citation: Cilia, A. (2010). Sicily and Malta 400-900 : historical and archaeological perspectives (Master's dissertation).
Abstract: The history of the Maltese archipelago extends from the distant prehistory to the present situation, making it one of the most ample and rich in quantity. This is further enhanced by the abundance of archaeological artefacts and remains found all over the islands. Hence throughout the centuries many notable people took on the challenge to try and put into writing their perspective of history through the current finds from their milieu. Therefore, in this dissertation I tried to focus on studying the transition period from Antiquity to the Middle Ages, in the central Mediterranean area concentrating on the Maltese archipelago, especially on the island of Malta and its neighbouring island, Sicily. I divided the dissertation into eight chapters, in which I analysed and covered various aspects of both islands starting with a brief historical account of the islands. In the following chapters, I tackled the development of Christianity in both islands in respective to mainly the interpretation of the archaeological evidence present as written evidence is quite difficult to come across. Subsequently, I dealt with the economic situation of Sicily and Malta. I looked into the known historical commercial traffic around the islands and of the islands as well as the archaeological evidence such as amphorae. Lastly, after a study of the formerly mentioned topics, I took a look at the role and evolvement of rural and urban settlements in Sicily and Malta. Since Sicily offers a larger topography, I focused mainly on the relationship between cities and villages, especially with relation to the process of incastellamento. On the other hand, in the Maltese island's context, due to the fewer number of cities, it was easier to look at hilltop cities in addition to the issue of the round towers. Throughout this dissertation, I made use of both historical and archaeological works as to study and be able to draw comparisons between Sicily and Malta. Primary sources amongst archaeological reports of certain excavated sites as well as numerous secondary sources were available. However, most of the surviving written literal documents about the Maltese islands are dated late in the centuries and not to the period I undertook for study in this dissertation. Hence, one has to rely on documents and records foreign administrators, chroniclers and rulers kept concerning with descriptions or references to the Maltese islands during this period. So, one has to be careful with the interpretation of certain sources. Furthermore, with regards to the archaeological side of this study, not all information and archaeological site reports are yet available to the public. Medieval archaeology has made its big advancement in its field only recently, over the last thirty years. Hence many medieval sites in Malta have never been archaeologically excavated, due to inaccessibility of certain sites as well as to limitations faced being a rather new archaeological field. Therefore the archaeological evidence and documentation for the study of rural settlements is still quite insufficient. Thus throughout this dissertation I tried to verify if it is possible to talk about a special relation between Sicily and Malta in the period between 400 and 900 A.D.
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - InsMI - 1999-2010

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