Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Prehistory to Byzantine Times: Malta's Archaeology

LEVEL I - Introductory Level


DEPARTMENT Centre for the Liberal Arts and Sciences

DESCRIPTION The archaeology of the Maltese islands spans more than seven millennia. It covers some 4500 years of prehistory, for which we have no written records and for which the evidence is only material culture, and the rest, for which we have to take into account both material evidence and the written documentation. The first part this Unit tackles the most pressing questions gravitating around our prehistoric ancestors: the first colonizers; the megalithic temple builders; the restless Bronze Age peoples. The second part is concerned with the changing political, economic and social scenarios, as well as the cultural baggage and religious practices of the Maltese inhabitants from Phoenician to Byzantine times, as revealed by the available evidence.

The Unit includes field visits to archeological sites and museums.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the Unit the student will:
- Have obtained first-hand knowledge of the archaeological heritage of the Maltese islands;
- Know the main chronological framework of the various periods under consideration, and their sub-phases;
- Know the sources available for a plausible reconstruction of the way of life, cultural background and religious beliefs of our ancestors;
- Understand how to weigh and interpret the available archaeological and (when available) written data;
- Understand how the prehistory and ancient history of the Maltese isands unfolded with reference to settlements, social organization and religious belief.

2. Skills:

By the end of the Unit the student will be able to:
- Relate archaeological evidence to narratives, both ancient and modern, about the past;
- Evaluate arguments made about archaeological finds through case studies from Maltese prehistory and ancient history;
- Articulate arguments in favour of one interpretation rather than to another.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

- D. H. Trump. 2002. Malta: Prehistory and Temples. Malta: Midsea Books.
- A. Bonanno. 2004. Il-Preistorja. Kullana kulturali 59. Malta: Pubblikazzjoniet Indipendenza.
- D. Cilia (ed.). 2004. Malta before History, Malta, Miranda (selected chapters).
- R. Skeates. 2010. An Archaeology of the Senses. Prehistoric Malta, Oxford: University Press.
- A. Bonanno 1992. Roman Malta, the Archaeological Heritage of the Maltese Islands/Malta Romana, il Patrimonio Archeologico delle Isole Maltesi, Rome: Confederazione Mondiale degli Exallievi ed Exallieve di Don Bosco.
- A. Bonanno. 2005. Malta: Phoenician, Punic, and Roman, Malta, Midsea Books Ltd.
- B. Bruno 2004. L’Arcipelago Maltese in Età Romana e Bizantina: attività economiche e scambi al centro del Mediterraneo, Bari: Edipuglia, 2004. Now available in English: B.
- Bruno, Roman and Byzantine Malta: trade and economy. Malta: Midsea, 2009.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture, Visit and Seminar

Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Essay Yes 50%
Presentation (20 Minutes) Yes 50%

LECTURER/S Anthony Bonanno

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2019/0, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.