University of Malta

The Paleomed Project
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The Paleomed Project (2008-present)

Institutions: CNRS (Aix en Provence), CEREGE (France), Department of Classics and Archaeology, University of Malta

Directors: Dr Timmy Gambin, Prof. Christophe Morhange and Dr Nick Marriner

Main sponsor: ANR – The French National Research Agency.


The aim of this project is to characterize and quantify human-environment relationships along Mediterranean coastlines at various spatial and temporal scales. The investigations are based on a multidisciplinary methodology covering such fields as archaeology, history, geography, the geosciences and biology. Prior to 1990, the relationships between Mediterranean populations and their coastal environments had largely been studied in a fragmentary manner, either from an anthropo- logical or naturalist standpoint, but rarely were the two married together. During the past two decades, Mediterranean archaeology has witnessed the emergence of a new culture–nature duality, drawing on the Anglo-Saxon examples of beach ridge and water- front archaeology. The project is set against this backdrop. The integrated approach uses coastal sediment archives to reconstruct the environmental history of coastal societies during the Holocene. Since 1990, there has been a great proliferation of studies looking into coastal and ancient harbour geoarchaeology. Seaport basins are particularly interesting as they allow us to understand how people ‘engaged with’ and ‘adapted to’ local environmental processes. This research places emphasis on two points: (1) the study of sediment archives during the last 6000 years; and (ii) an integrated analysis of harbours within their wider environmental context, particularly the catchment from their source to sink areas.


Marriner, N., Gambin, T., Djamali, M., Morhange, C. & Spiteri, M. 2012, "
Geoarchaeology of the Burmarrad ria and early Holocene human impacts in western Malta ", Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, vol. 339-341, no. 3, pp. 52--65.

Djamali, M., Gambin, B., Marriner, N., Andrieu-Ponel, V., Gambin, T., Gandouin, E., Médail, F., Pavon, D., Ponel, P., Morhange, C., 2012. Vegetation dynamics during the early to mid-Holocene transition in NW Malta, human impact versus climatic forcing. Vegetation History and  Archaeobotany (in press).

Where to find us
Find your way around the Archaeology Centre farmhouse
MA (taught) Archaeological Practice
Offered in October 2018
Symposium: Cosmology in Archaeology
Symposium: Cosmology in Archaeology
Student Handbooks

You can now download this year's course handbooks here:

  • BA/BA(Hons) Archaeology
  • BA/BA(Hons) Classics
  • MA (taught) Global Maritime Archaeology 
Last Updated: 22 August 2016

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