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Excavations at the Brochtorff Circle Xaghra book launch

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Excavations at the Brochtorff Circle Xaghra book launchOn Tuesday, the book launch took place of ‘Mortuary customs in prehistoric Malta – Excavations at the Brochtorff Circle at Xaghra (1987-94).

The book edited by Dr Caroline Malone, Dr Simon Stoddart, Prof Anthony Bonanno, Dr David Trump, the late Dr Tancred Gouder and Mr Anthony Pace. It is a detailed factual and interpretative report on this site, supported by fresh scientific data on raw materials, land snails and environment, isotopes, radiometric dating and statistical analysis, placed in the broader framework of the domestic and ritual landscape of the Maltese Islands during the Neolithic Period.

During the book launch at the Ministry of Gozo, the project directors spoke about some of the highlights and principal results of the excavation.

Minister Giovanna Debono thanked the project directors and all those involved in the project. She added that notwithstanding its size, Gozo is once again contributing towards a better understanding and appreciation of our heritage. She officially thanked Mr Joseph Attard Tabone, a researcher from Gozo whose studies led to the conclusive re-location and re-discovery of the Xaghra Circle. Minister Debono said that the finds from this excavation now on show at the Gozo Museum of Archaeology in Victoria will in a few years’ time be permanently exhibited closer to their original context at the new Ggantija visitor centre. Together with Heritage Malta, the Ministry for Gozo is studying the best ways to preserve and present this unique monument to the public.

Minister Dolores Cristina spoke about the various projects being undertaken by Heritage Malta on the country’s archaeological heritage. These include the Hypogeum Conservation Project funded by the Norwegian Financial Mechanism, the Structural Funds Project to shelter Hagar Qim and Mnajdra, the Archaeological Heritage Conservation Project encompassing Ggantija, Tarxien Temples and St Paul’s Catacombs, and the new application for EAFRD funding for sites at Mgarr and Mosta. She also mentioned works being carried out at the National Museum of Archaeology.

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