Hypogea and the clubhouse: Neolithic Malta's houses of the living and the dead.

Caroline Malone, Rowan McLaughlin, Robert Barratt*, Eoin W Parkinson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Traditionally called "temples", the megalithic buildings of Neolithic Malta mirror the structure and form of contemporary subterranean burial complexes, the Hypogea. Recent work by the ERC FRAGSUS project has explored the structural elaboration that spanned about1500 years, resulting in sophisticated forms of 'houses', designed for the living and the dead. Emerging from simple houses and rock cut tombs, the third millennium architectural culmination seen in the temple period sites of Malta is intriguing. Influenced by cosmology, the layout of sites reflected communal activities of feasting, food storage, symbolism and imply a close relationship between living and dead in the way houses were conceived in the minds of the Neolithic Maltese. This paper presents some of the new discoveries within a robust new chronology.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHouses of the dead?
Subtitle of host publicationNeolithic Studies Group Seminar papers 17
Editorsalistair Barclay, David Field, Jim Leary
Place of PublicationOxford
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-78925-411-2 (epub)
ISBN (Print)978-1-78925-410-5
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Publication series

NameNeolithic Studies Group Seminar Papers
PublisherOxbow Books

Bibliographical note

Malone instigated the paper by the first writing of a conference paper at the British Museum seminar, and then enabling PhD student Barratt to take on the final editing.


  • Burial, megalith, tomb, house, Neolithic, Malta, metaphor


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