Prof. Bonanno and Dr Vella donating a copy of the archaeological report to Mr Kevin J. Ellul, Director of Library Services, in the presence of Prof. Richard J. Muscat (Pro-Rector, Research & Innovation)
A set of the newly published two-volume archaeological report on the University of Malta’s excavations at Tas-Silġ was recently donated to the University Library. The report, edited by Prof. Anthony Bonanno and Dr Nicholas Vella of the Department of Classics and Archaeology, and published by Peeters of Leuven, brings to fruition several years of post-excavation work related to the research excavations carried out by the Department at the site between 1996-2005.
Tas-Silġ, on the south-east coast of the island of Malta, is a major multi-period site, with archaeological remains spanning four thousand years. A megalithic temple complex built in the early third millennium BC gave way to a Phoenician and Punic sanctuary dedicated to the goddess Astarte. The holy place underwent major transformations in Roman times, becoming an international religious complex dedicated to the goddess Juno. Located on the maritime routes plied by mariners and traders, its fame did not escape the attention of the first-century BC orator Cicero. Excavated as part of a major archaeological project in the 1960s, the site of Tas-Silġ lay abandoned for several decades. In 1996, the University of Malta renewed excavations at the site for ten seasons, uncovering Neolithic and Late Bronze Age occupation levels, and substantial deposits associated with ritual offerings of Punic date.
The first volume provides an account of those excavations and of the studies which accompanied them, including the lithic assemblages, the figurative representations, scarabs and amulets, the worked stone, the coins, and environmental analyses. The second monograph is a companion volume reporting on the pottery and the inscribed pottery.
Between 1996 and 1998 the excavations were directed jointly by Prof. Anthony Bonanno and Prof. Anthony J. Frendo and thereafter by Prof. Bonanno. Overall site supervision was in the hands of Dr Nicholas Vella and Mr Simon Mason (Kent County Council, UK). The volumes contain contributions by several academics and researchers attached to local and foreign institutions. Those from the University of Malta include Rebecca Farrugia (Classics and Archaeology), Dr Katrin Fenech (Classics and Archaeology), Prof. Anthony J. Frendo (Classics and Archaeology/Oriental Studies), Dr Dennis Mizzi (Oriental Studies), and Prof. Patrick J. Schembri (Biology).
Find out more details about Volume I and Volume II. Copies can be purchased locally from Midsea Books.