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Water and cosmology in the prehistoric Maltese world: Fault control on the hydrogeology of Ġgantija, Gozo (Maltese Islands)

Ruffell, A, Hunt, CO, Grima, R, McLaughlin, R, Malone, C, Schembri, P, French, C and Stoddart, SKF (2018) Water and cosmology in the prehistoric Maltese world: Fault control on the hydrogeology of Ġgantija, Gozo (Maltese Islands). Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, 20. pp. 183-191. ISSN 2352-409X

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Abstract

The dry limestone geology of the Maltese islands presented a challenging environment to prehistoric communities, who required reliable water sources to support agricultural subsistence. Ġgantija, one of the iconic Maltese Late Neolithic Temples on Gozo, and now a World Heritage Site, was surveyed using Ground Penetrating Radar to reveal a significant line of geological faulting running beneath the megalithic structure. The seepage of water from this fault had major implications for the siting of the monument. This seems to reflect a pattern of situating many of these key sites adjacent to ancient sources of water, as is shown by the close association of two thirds of these sites with toponym evidence for the presence of springs in the medieval period. It is possible that the prehistoric Maltese embraced this natural resource as part of the cosmology of their ritual sites. © 2018

Item Type: Article
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Q Science > QE Geology
Divisions: Natural Sciences and Psychology
Publisher: Elsevier
Date Deposited: 04 Jun 2018 09:39
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2018 09:39
DOI or Identification number: 10.1016/j.jasrep.2018.05.002
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/8766

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