Island Laboratories for our research
The terraced landscape of Gozo
This project has selected Malta in the central Mediterranean on which to test these ideas. Not only is the archipelago of Malta and Gozo of manageable size (316km2) for an intensive programme of analysis, but it has been the subject of our research for over two decades, where the team has trialled many of the approaches that we bring to this proposal. Early Malta had a distinctive cultural evolution, focused on substantial monuments (megalithic temples) and richly graphic material culture, but the question of its rise and demise remain unexplored, questions that are important, and accessible to our study. Today the “Temple Culture” sites of Malta have UNESCO World Heritage status and attract large EU investment for conservation. The sites form an iconic symbol of national identity and attract thousands of visitors annually. To tackle our questions the team comprises leading specialist researchers from Queen’s University Belfast and supported by scientists from the Universities of Cambridge and Malta, and the foremost Maltese cultural heritage agencies, Heritage Malta and the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage.