A burial ‘alla cappuccina’ discovered on the north-western outskirts of Victoria, Gozo

By: George Azzopardi

As ancient burials constitute the bulk of archaeological evidence in the Maltese islands due to their degree of preservation and survival, the general typology of ancient tombs in these islands is quite well known. However, one type of ancient burial seems to stand out for its uniqueness in the Maltese islands, even though it seems to have been widespread in the Roman world. This is the burial known as ‘alla cappuccina’: a very simple burial that employs slabs or tiles set gable wise to cover the corpse beneath. Surviving documentation provides meagre representation of this burial type in the Maltese islands. So far, it had only been documented once in Gozo with another possible instance from Malta. Another burial of the same kind was discovered in Gozo in 1933. Yet, for some reason, it failed to attract any attention to the effect that it was only unofficially documented by means of a contemporary newspaper article. It is thanks to the latter, however, that the poor corpus of this type of burial in the Maltese islands is being enriched with another, better documented example. The current contribution also seeks to move a step further by putting this burial not only in its regional context, but also within the wider context of the contemporary Mediterranean and Roman world.

Malta Archaeological Review 2023, issue 13, https://doi.org/10.46651/mar.2024.1
Received: 3 September 2023 | Accepted: 2 December 2023 | Published online: 12 April 2024