Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 22 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Figurative art developed in the Maltese islands during the Neolithic, as part of the Temple Culture that flourished c.3500–2500 bc. Anthropomorphic and zoomorphic figurines, carved from stone or modelled in terracotta represented, not only a distinct Maltese identity but also significant artistic competence. From very large to very small, the material ranges from objects used in burials to immense statues that decorated temple interiors. Some anthropomorphic figures are dressed, others naked, some obese, others stick-like, and another category associated with mortuary sites is represented lying and sitting on elaborate beds. The figurative art appears to fall into distinct categories of anthropomorphic and domestic creatures, alongside more speculative representations that focus on cold-blooded reptiles and fish, or feathered birds. The potential to interpret this ‘art’ as representative of a layer cosmology is explored within the context of a Neolithic island society.

Keywords: Maltese identity, Temple Culture, Neolithic, anthropomorphic figurines, zoomorphic figurines

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.