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H 290 x W 205 mm

88 pages

Illustrated throughout in black & white

Published Aug 2017

Archaeopress Archaeology


Paperback: 9781784916695

Digital: 9781784916701

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Punic; Roman; Sanctuary; Gozo; Mediterranean; Temple; Sacred; Religion

Ras il-Wardija Sanctuary Revisited

A re-assessment of the evidence and newly informed interpretations of a Punic-Roman sanctuary in Gozo (Malta)

By George Azzopardi

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This book reassesses the evidence of a secluded Punic-Roman sanctuary on the coastal promontory of Ras il-Wardija on the central Mediterranean island of Gozo (near Malta).



Preface; Chapter 1: 1.1 Introducing the sanctuary site at Ras il-Wardija; 1.2 History of research and existing literature; 1.3 Objectives, aims, approach, and method of this study; 1.4 Background to the Maltese islands: a brief historical profile; Chapter 2: 2.1 Ras il-Wardija and its regional context: geographical extent and topography; 2.2 Continuous human presence and occupation; 2.3 Maritime connections and related activities; 2.4 Seeking divine protection at sea; Chapter 3: 3.1 The toponym ‘Ras il-Wardija’; 3.2 Origins and development of the sanctuary complex; 3.3 Relationship between the sanctuary and the physical form of the landscape; 3.4 Visual domination of the seascape; 3.5 The temple building on the first terrace; 3.6 The cave and ancillary features on the fifth terrace; 3.7 Sacrality of doors: doorways with offering holes or other sacred features; 3.8 Stone worship; 3.9 Possible mysteries and the enigmatic cruciform and ‘flying’ figures; 3.10 Regulating relations through ritual; Chapter 4: 4.1 Closure of the site; 4.2 Concluding observations; Appendix I; Appendix II; Bibliography; General Index

About the Author

George Azzopardi is a practising archaeologist hailing from the island of Gozo and is quite familiar with the site. His main research interests focus on the Classical period with the phenomenon of continuity as a marked backdrop. In line with this view, he directed his recent research on religious activity in Classical times as being often in continuity from earlier – sometimes, even prehistoric – traditions or inspired from earlier sources. To this effect, human history is seen as a continuum with hardly any identifiable beginnings or intervals.