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H 290 x W 205 mm

188 pages

192 figures, 27 tables (77 pages of colour)

Published Aug 2020

Archaeopress Archaeology


Paperback: 9781789694932

Digital: 9781789694949

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Malta; Bronze Age; Iron Age; Sicily; Aegean; pottery; archaeometry

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The Maltese Archipelago at the Dawn of History

Reassessment of the 1909 and 1959 Excavations at Qlejgħa tal-Baħrija and Other Essays

Edited by Davide Tanasi, David Cardona

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This collection of essays provides a reassessment of the multifaceted evidence which emerged from excavations carried out in 1909 and 1959 in the settlement of Bahrija, both largely unpublished until now. Bahrija is a key site for understanding the later stages of Maltese prehistory before the beginning of the Phoenician colonial period.



Introduction – Davide Tanasi, David Cardona ;

Part I ;
1. Il-Qlejgħa tal-Baħrija: the story – David Cardona ;
2. Il-Qlejgħa tal-Baħrija: an archaeological survey – MariaElena Zammit ;
3. Bronze and Iron Age pottery from the 1909 and 1959 excavations at Qlejgħa tal-Baħrija – Davide Tanasi ;
4. Textile tools and terracotta figurines from Prehistoric Qlejgħa tal-Baħrija – Carlo Veca ;
5. Stone, metal and bone artefacts from Qlejgħa tal-Baħrija – Carlo Veca, Paolo Trapani, Davide Tanasi ;
6. Post-Prehistoric pottery from the 1909 and 1959 excavations at Qlejgħa tal-Baħrija – Stephan Hassam ;

Part II ;
7. Non-destructive pXRF analysis of Middle Bronze and Iron Age pottery from Malta – Davide Tanasi, Robert H. Tykot, Frederick Pirone, Nicholas C. Vella ;
8. Baħrija pottery production from an archaeometric perspective – Davide Tanasi, Daniele Brunelli, Valentina Cannavò, Sara Tiziana Levi ;
9. New data on the absolute chronology of the Maltese Middle/Late Bronze Age – Davide Tanasi, Robert H. Tykot ;

Part III ;
10. A critical revision of the Late Borġ in-Nadur/Baħrija-type pottery from the Thapsos settlement (Sicily) – Davide Tanasi ;
11. The Tas-Silġ sanctuary between the late 2nd and the early 1st millennia BC – Alberto Cazzella, Giulia Recchia ;
12. Zooarchaeology of Għar Mirdum. Preliminary Analysis – Roberto Miccichè

About the Author

Davide Tanasi is an expert of Mediterranean prehistory and archaeology of ancient Sicily and Malta, in which fields is has published several papers and monographic volumes such as: D. Tanasi, N. Vella (eds), Site, artefacts, landscape: prehistoric Borġ in-Nadur, Malta, Monza: Polimetrica 2011; D. Tanasi, N. Vella (eds) The late prehistory of Malta: essays on Borġ in-Nadur and other sites, Oxford: Archaeopress, 2015. ;

David Cardona is Senior Curator of Phoenician, Roman and Medieval sites with the governmental agency Heritage Malta. He is a specialist of Roman and Late Roman archaeology and in this field he is about to publish a comprehensive work on Malta entitled Roman buildings and their architecture in Malta. His research interests include landscape archaeology, archaeology of technology and architecture.


'Like every good piece of research, this volume answers questions and raises new ones. It also offers a space to revisit conclusions and voice dissent where needed. The collaborative nature of the work is particularly welcome and it is hoped that this standard will be adopted across all archaeological research on the islands. This is the beginning of a new era for Bronze Age studies on the Maltese Islands.' - Isabelle Vella Gregory (2021), Malta Archaeological Review