Ground stone percussion tools from Maltese Islands

  • Felice Larocca Università degli Studi di Bari Aldo Moro
Keywords: Malta, prehistory, Temple Period, ground stone tools, percussor

Abstract


A few lithic percussion tools, probably related to construction and craftsmanship, are stored in the National Museum of Archaeology of Valletta (Malta). Dated to the Temple Period (about 4000-2500 BCE), many are typologically similar to artefacts from the continental area, but others look distinctive and probably developed in loco in response to specific needs. This paper examines five stone hammers with different hafting methods (three of them show grooves or holes and two both grooves and holes). A huge double hand grip percussion tool belongs to a different and unusual typology: the double grip allowed two opposite-standing men, steadily holding it, to strike with strength on other surfaces, probably when heavy blows were needed. Grooved stone hammers are widespread in various European regions and are mostly associated with mining activities. In the Maltese archipelago the limestone lacks ore deposits, and thus their presence may be reflect other uses, although still associated to the work of stone on stone: earthworks, quarrying, finishing of stone surfaces, hydraulic works, excavation of burial and rituals structures, and others. The double grip lithic percussor (ID 9120) has no precise parallel and may be unique.This paper aims to fill a gap in the current literature about prehistoric lithic tools, as in many studies the focus is often placed on the results of specific activities rather than on the typological features of the artefacts that made these activities possible.

Author Biography

Felice Larocca, Università degli Studi di Bari Aldo Moro

Università degli Studi di Bari Aldo Moro
Gruppo di Ricerca Speleo-Archeologica
Piazza Umberto I n. 1, 70121 Bari
Italy

and

Centro Regionale di Speleologia “Enzo dei Medici”
Via Lucania n. 3, 87070 Roseto Capo Spulico, Cosenza
Italy

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Published
31-Oct-2016
How to Cite
Larocca, F. (2016). Ground stone percussion tools from Maltese Islands. Journal of Lithic Studies, 3(3), 291-300. https://doi.org/10.2218/jls.v3i3.1674
Section
Papers Presented at the 1st Meeting of the Association for Ground Stone Tools Research