Introduction—Islands Connected or Unconnected: A Case Study of Malta


Islands gave birth to many cultural and economic adaptations in prehistory. After an introduction to the symposium, the paper will focus on the small archipelago of Malta, which demonstrates a particularly resilient trajectory of survival set against environmental and economic limitations, that lasted millennia. Compared with the neighbouring areas (Sicily, Sardinia, Italy) Maltese megalithic "Temple" culture presented an unparalleled c.1500 years of unbroken development, and this paper discusses the factors that enabled a very small community to develop coping strategies more typical of advanced civilisation than of Neolithic society. Recent intensive fieldwork of the FRAGSUS project (funded by the European Research Council) has revisited sites last examined a century ago, to sample chronological and palaeo-economic data to reassess the apparent longevity of early Maltese cultures. The discussion will explore whether present data can demonstrate if these early peoples were as connected to each other through shared identities and exchange of material goods as we might expect in the relatively restricted space of the Mediterranean, or whether the emergence of disconnectedness is the outcome of close proximity and broadly similar shared origins.

Cite this Record

Introduction—Islands Connected or Unconnected: A Case Study of Malta. Caroline Malone, Nicholas Vella, Reuben Grima, Katya Stroud, Anthony Pace. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431404)


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -11.074; min lat: 37.44 ; max long: 50.098; max lat: 70.845 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15361