In 1987 Veronica Veen started her anthropological field work on Gozo,
focusing on the (remains of the) women's oral tradition and its
possible connections with the prehistoric goddess cultures on that
island. It would soon appear, after some two years of cooperation with
the archaeologist Adrian van der Blom, that Gozo could be regarded as
the actual cradle of Maltese prehistory.
In June 1991 he took a
sabbatical leave, resulting in an extended research period of the two
specialists together, soon defined by themselves as The Team, or in
Due to a complete lack of cooperation, even obstruction, from the side
of the archaeological authorities, at the time personified by the
notorious T. Gouder, who had refused any access to the archaeological
reserve collections, they had to conduct their own research from
scratch in order to acquire specific knowledge of the material culture
of the goddess period (ca. 5500-2500 BC) and from there, draw
conclusions on their culture and symbolism in general, especially in
relation to the reknown Goddess Temples. In spite of the obstruction,
they were backed by a fieldwork contract issued by the Ministry of
Education of Malta.
To inform the Dutch friends, collegues and relatives in an efficient
and pleasant way about the (at times astonishing) progress made during
that field work, a tiny, handwritten and illustrated magazine was
issued from November 1991 onwards, called 'Snoefschrift' (a
contamination of 'snoeven' = to boast and 'proefschrift' =
dissertation). The last two of them, written at the zenith of the
crisis, were translated in English under the title of 'Dissentation'.
Though mainly satirical, the twelve 'Snoefschriften' of 1991-1993 give
a good picture of both the field work results and the destructive
attempts of the Museums Department of Malta.
Later, in 1994, they
started a court case against the two, that was flagrantly lost by the
Museum authorities in 1995, in spite of the Maltese judicial tradition
to favour gouvernment institutions.
On the other hand, 'The Team' was continuously supported by all kinds
of gouvernmental and other official organizations, such as the Gozo
Ministry, the National Tourist Organization and a decisive segment of
the press, and also by many Gozitan intellectuals. Apart from them,
there must have been many unknown actors in the background. Two of the
most gifted lawyers volunteered in the final court case. 'It-Team' was
even sponsored by a hotel!
Selection of 'Snoefschriften', books, articles and memoranda,
appeared during the 'archaeological wars of 1991-1995
(in chronological order)
- Snoefschrift nr. 1, November 1991.
- 'Key archaeological sites in Gozo to be lost; how things can go
terribly wrong', article by Adrian van der Blom in The Sunday Times of
Malta, Dec. 22, 1991
(first mentioning of Tac-Cawla site)
- Snoefschrift nr. 2, Christmas 1991.
- Snoefschrift nr. 3, January 1992.
- Book: 'The First Maltese; origin, character and symbolism of the Ghar
Dalam culture', by Veronica Veen and Adrian van der Blom, Malta
(Inanna/FIA) 1992. Unfortunately this book is sold out.
- Snoefschrift nr. 4, May 1992.
- Snoefschrift nr. 5, June 1992.
- Snoefschrift nr. 6 (comic strip 'Jut & Juul in Mallotia'), July 1992.
- Snoefschrift nr. 7, September 1992.
- Book: 'The Goddess of Malta; the Lady of the Waters and the Earth',
by Veronica Veen, Valletta (Inanna/FIA) 1992,
in 1994 also published in German, 12 euro excl. postage; ask for
specifics by mail: vogel.veer[at]hotmail.com.
- Snoefschrift nr. 8/9, Nov./Dec. 1992.
- Snoefschrift nr. 10, January 1993.
- Dissentation nr. 1 (= Snoefschrift nr. 11), English version, March 1993.
- 'Dutch archaeologist recalls efforts to save doomed sites',
article by AvdB in The Malta Independent of May 9, 1993.
- 'The Importance of Tac-Cawla; The rich possibilities of a key site (I),
article by V.V. in The Malta Independent of May 23, 1993.
- 'The Importance of Tac-Cawla (II),
continuation by V.V. in The Malta Independent of May 30, 1993.
- Snoefschrift nr. 12, June 1993, 'Mission completed' special.
- Dissentation nr. 2, June 1993, the same text in English.
- 'Tac-Cawla revisited; the topography of an archaeological moonscape',
article by AvdB and V.V. in The Sunday Times of Malta, January 2, 1994.
- 'Archaeology in decay; The insufficiency of an archaeological practice',
article by AvdB in The Sunday Times of Malta, June 5, 1994.
- Book: 'Goddess, Giantess, Farmeress; Female Images of Malta',
by V.V., Malta (Inanna/FIA) 1994, Dutch version was already written by 1989,
18 euro, excl postage, ask foor specifics by mail: vogel.veer[at]hotmail.com.
- Book: 'Die Göttin von Malta' (German edition of the 1992-book), by
V.V., Malta(Inanna/FIA) 1994, 12 euro, excl postage, ask for specifics
by mail: vogel.veer[at]hotmail.com.
- 'Memorandum to the Prime Minister', by V.V. and AvdB, December 19, 1994.