The Malta Independent 19 December 2018, Wednesday

First inhabitants arrived 700 years earlier than previously thought - research

Saturday, 3 March 2018, 09:22 Last update: about 11 months ago

New research has shown that the first inhabitants of Malta arrived about 700 years earlier than previously thought.

Results of the five-year research, which was carried out by an international interdisciplinary team who worked together to shed light on environmental changes and their effect on the human population in Maltese prehistory, will be published in the coming days.

The research also found that the Maltese islands saw more than one episode of Neolithic colonization, Heritage Malta said.

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Some of the questions that will be answered by the research include: "What was the impact of humans on the fragile landscapes of Malta? Was the existence of the first settlers in Malta sustainable? Where did the Maltese prehistoric population come from and were they healthy?"

The research, Fragility and sustainability in restricted island environments: Adaptation, cultural change and collapse in prehistory, was funded by the  European Research Council. The FRAGSUS project was a collaboration between scientists and archaeologists from Malta, Britain and Ireland.

The research included archaeological excavation, the analysis of Neolithic human remains, landscape and soil history obtained from deep sediment cores to reconstruct the ancient environment, and exacting radiocarbon dating. Questions were put forward to tackle the issue of human impact coupled with climate change, on fragile landscapes over time.

The combined results offer a revolutionary new picture of how life on the Maltese island changed according to the flactuating environment during prehistoric times.

The results of the studies will be presented during a full day conference, between 8.30am and 5.00pm to be held on 17 March at Fort St Angelo, Birgu.

For further information, full programme and registration, to be made by 14 March, kindly send an email to [email protected] or call 21239375.

In collaboration with Heritage Malta an exhibition highlighting all the results of the Fragility and Sustainability in Prehistoric Malta, will be inaugurated in the evening at the National Museum of Archaeology, Valletta. This exhibition will be open to the public free of charge from 18 March till 15 June.

 

 


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