Skip to main content

Sara Boyle

<p>Sara Boyle</p>

Sara Boyle


BSc in Archaeology-Palaeoecology, Queen’s University Belfast (2007);
MSc in Landscape, Heritage and Environment, Queen’s University Belfast (2009)




School of Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology (GAP)
Queen’s University Belfast
Belfast, BT7 1NN
Northern Ireland, UK


+44 (0)28 9097 5287

Current Research: Past Cultural Change

The social and physical environment of early Gozo: A study of settlement and change.

The Maltese Islands are one of the smaller and more remote archipelagos found within the Mediterranean and have been seen as potentially unstable for long-term social development due to their size, isolation and aridity. Yet, defying such odds, they house the world’s oldest freestanding megalithic monuments whose precocious grandeur and complexity can be rivalled by few others. It may be no surprise then that most studies have focused upon the megalithic monuments of the Maltese Islands, leaving prehistoric settlement and the wider prehistoric landscape poorly understood and disconnected from the extraordinary archaeology of the major sites. The Gozo Survey, undertaken as part of the Gozo Project from 1987 to 1995, hoped to address such inadequacies with the implementation of the first systematic study of early settlement activity in Gozo. The survey collected evidence of traces of sites spanning from earliest occupation of the island in the Neolithic period to the modern era and primary analysis of the survey assemblage revealed huge potential for further study. Since the survey ended, the island landscape of Gozo has greatly deteriorated as increased rates of erosion and mounting development particularly threaten the important archaeology. It is thus essential that the Gozo Survey is analysed and interpreted before vital evidence is lost for good.

Little emphasis has been placed on the domestic context of prehistory due to the perceived scantiness of remains and consequently the domestic elements of prehistoric life lack general regional analysis. This makes it difficult to understand the period in terms of demography, use of settlements, agriculture and the impacts upon the island’s environment. This research project hopes to change this with the aim to establish an understanding of settlement activity across Gozo during prehistory and to explore the relationship between the island’s prehistoric inhabitants and their changing environment over time.

Principal Supervisor: Dr Caroline Malone
Secondary Supervisor: Dr Chris Hunt


Boyle, S. (2011) An Archaeology of the Senses: Prehistoric Malta, by Robin Skeates. Reviewed in: Archaeological Review from Cambridge, 26(1): 162-166.

External Grant Funding:

Recipient of a Department for Employment and Learning (DEL) award, which covers all fees and provides a maintenance grant for three years of my PhD.

Winner of the William and Betty Macquitty Travel Scholarship to the value of £1000 to undertake fieldwork in September 2011.

Winner of the Soulby Research Fund Prize to the value of £400 to undertake fieldwork in early 2012.

Additional Information:

Professional Memberships

Student member of the Quaternary Research Association
Student member of The Prehistoric Society