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Title: The conditions of creativity for prehistoric Maltese art
Authors: Malone, Caroline
Stoddart, Simon
Keywords: Art, Prehistoric -- Malta
Malta -- Antiquities
Issue Date: 1998
Publisher: Routledge
Citation: Creativity in human evolution and prehistory / edited by Steven Mithe. London: Routledge, 1998. p. 241-259. 0415160960
Abstract: The Maltese islands, located some 85 km south of the island of Sicily in the central Mediterranean, are renowned amongst archaeologists for one of the most marked, distinctive and original developments of artistic creativity in prehistory. During the mid to late fourth and early third millennia DC, a period of consolidation nearly two millennia after the transition to agriculture, there was the long-term maintenance of a particular range of artistic and architectural styles that differed completely from those of neighbouring contemporary societies. The large and fertile neighbour, Sicily, to the north, had no such evident artistic creativity during the same period. In Malta, architecture became monumental in form, employing interconnected lobed apses on all axial frame, forming what are generally accepted as temple structures. Human representation was marked by a characteristic corpulence of the human form. Natural representation included abstract vegetal forms of an almost modern quality. All these elements added up to a highly distinctive repertoire of artistic forms. This chapter aims to investigate the conditions for the creativity behind these developments of elaborate prehistoric art which were persistent for more than a millennium, but had no long-term succession in Malta or beyond, The conditions were very specific to a specific historical context in the development of the Maltese islands and have not been repeated in later times. The conditions existed at three levels: the relationship to the rest of the Mediterranean, the social and ideological conditions of Maltese society, and the degree of individuality allowed in some representations of art.
Description: Chapter 14
Appears in Collections:Melitensia Works - ERCGARAnt

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