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Ancient Pagan Tombs and Christian Cemeteries,

In the Islands of Malta explored and surveyed from the year 1881 to the year 1897. (Copy-right Edition.)

Malta: Government Printing Office, 1898 Stock Code: 133559
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A rare survival of this study of Maltese early funerary antiquities and practices

First and only edition of this study of early funerary antiquities and practices in Malta by Dr. Antonio Annetto Caruana (1830-1905), a "pioneer in the field of Heritage Management in the Maltese islands" (Romina Delia).

Caruana was an archaeologist and author, who served as Librarian and Keeper of Antiquities at the Malta Library from 1880 to 1896. In 1860, Captain Walter Strickland showed the Tal-Mintna Catacombs to Caruana who was the first to document them. He was later put in charge of 'Archaeological Explorations and Preservation of Local Antiquities' between 1880 and 1896. "Notwithstanding his positive steps towards consolidating and safeguarding the cultural heritage of the island, Caruana was a product of his time and a theological education; history to him was bound to the biblical narrative. Depending on one's interpretation, Caruana either could not or would not consider a period in Malta earlier than the Phoenicians, who figured in the biblical accounts. But no amount of Christian zeal could sustain the link he made between the prehistoric megalithic structures in Malta and Gozo (ca. 36002500 BC) and the Phoenicians of the first millennium BC" (Sagona).

The present work was reviewed and praised by the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland the following year, only regretting "that so few detailed descriptions are given of objects found in the various classes of tombs."

An uncommon survival with twelve copies listed on Library Hub, WorldCat adding seven others worldwide.

Provenance: almost certainly Edward Ingoldsby who served in the Royal Engineers during the Second World War and retired in 1951, retaining his rank. He was probably enlisted in The Malta Fortress Squadron, a locally recruited Royal Engineers unit based on Malta and on the British Army colonial list prior to Malta's independence.

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Small folio. Original drab printed wrappers.


33 lithographs mainly of cemeteries and tombs layout, including 2 folding and a folding map.


Early ink ownership "E. Ingoldsby Capt. R. E." to front wrapper. Some wear and chipping to edges, a few small creases, light soiling and staining to wrappers, occasional light foxing, heavier on last few leaves; a very good copy indeed.


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