The Malta Independent 20 September 2020, Sunday

Meeting the people of the Xagħra Circle

Monday, 16 May 2016, 16:17 Last update: about 5 years ago

The Archaeological Society Malta is organising a presentation entitled Meeting the people of the Xagħra Circle: A re-examination of the prehistoric human bone to be given by Dr Ronika Power, from Cambridge University and Mrs Bernardette Mercieca Spiteri, from the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage Malta, members, with Dr Jay Stock, from Cambridge University of the Fragsus bone crew. The aim of the study is to reveal patterns of changing age/sex structure, disease, health and nutrition that link chronologically with wider architectural, demographic, environmental and subsistence change. Research includes a representative population study of the individuals interred in the Xagħra Circle, Gozo.

Dietary patterns and geographical affinity(ies) are central components of the Xagħra population study. Such information is crucial to our understanding of population subsistence patterns; differential access to resources; biological stress and the extent to which migration influenced social, cultural and biological networks across Neolithic Malta and its neighbouring regions. Through ongoing studies at the National Museum of Archaeology in Valletta Dr Power, Dr Stock and Mrs Mercieca Spiteri are addressing these questions in greater detail.

The Fragsus Project entitled Fragility and Sustainability in restricted island environments: Adaptation, Culture Change and Collapse in prehistory is an FP7 European Research Council (ERC) five-year interdisciplinary project launched in May 2013. Fragsus aims to shed new light on how the Maltese islands were transformed and exploited during the first few thousand years of human activity. Fragsus brings together an international team from five institutions in three countries. Queen's University Belfast is the host Institution leading the project (Professor Caroline Malone principal investigator), together with the University of Cambridge, the University of Malta, the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage (Malta) and Heritage Malta.

The talk will be held on Wednesday, 18 May at the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage, 173 St Christopher Street, Valletta at 6pm and is open to the general public.



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