Temple landscapes: Fragility, change and resilience of Holocene environments in the Maltese Islands Collection home page Statistics

The ERC-funded FRAGSUS Project (Fragility and sustainability in small island environments: adaptation, cultural change and collapse in prehistory, 2013–18), led by Caroline Malone (Queens University Belfast) has explored issues of environmental fragility and Neolithic social resilience and sustainability during the Holocene period in the Maltese Islands. This, the first volume of three, presents the palaeo-environmental story of early Maltese landscapes.

The project employed a programme of high-resolution chronological and stratigraphic investigations of the valley systems on Malta and Gozo. Buried deposits extracted through coring and geoarchaeological study yielded rich and chronologically controlled data that allow an important new understanding of environmental change in the islands. The study combined AMS radiocarbon and OSL chronologies with detailed palynological, molluscan and geoarchaeological analyses. These enable environmental reconstruction of prehistoric landscapes and the changing resources exploited by the islanders between the seventh and second millennia bc. The interdisciplinary studies combined with excavated economic and environmental materials from archaeological sites allows Temple landscapes to examine the dramatic and damaging impacts made by the first farming communities on the islands’ soil and resources. The project reveals the remarkable resilience of the soil-vegetational system of the island landscapes, as well as the adaptations made by Neolithic communities to harness their productivity, in the face of climatic change and inexorable soil erosion. Neolithic people evidently understood how to maintain soil fertility and cope with the inherently unstable changing landscapes of Malta. In contrast, second millennium bc Bronze Age societies failed to adapt effectively to the long-term aridifying trend so clearly highlighted in the soil and vegetation record. This failure led to severe and irreversible erosion and very different and short-lived socio-economic systems across the Maltese islands.

By Charles French, Chris O. Hunt, Reuben Grima, Rowan McLaughlin, Simon Stoddart & Caroline Malone

McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research

ISBN: 978-1-902937-99-1

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Collection's Items (Sorted by Submit Date in Descending order): 1 to 20 of 26
Issue DateTitleAuthor(s)
2020A bonanza of angelfish (Perciformes : Pomacanthidae) in the Mediterranean : the second documented record of Holacanthus ciliaris (Linnaeus, 1758)Deidun, Alan; Galdies, Johann; Zava, Bruno
2020Temple landscapes : fragility, change and resilience of Holocene environments in the Maltese IslandsFrench, Charles; Hunt, Chris O.; Grima, Reuben; McLaughlin, Rowan; Stoddart, Simon; Malone, Caroline
2020ForewordPace, Anthony
2020IntroductionMalone, Caroline; Stoddart, Simon; Hunt, Chris O.; French, Charles; McLaughlin, Rowan; Grima, Reuben
2020Chapter 1 : the geology, soils and present-day environment of Gozo and MaltaChatzimpaloglou, Petros; Schembri, Patrick J.; French, Charles; Ruffell, Alastair; Stoddart, Simon
2020Chapter 2 : chronology and stratigraphy of the valley systemsHunt, Chris O.; Farrell, Michelle; Fenech, Katrin; French, Charles; McLaughlin, Rowan; Blaauw, Maarten; Bennett, Jeremy; Flood, Rory P.; Pyne-O’Donnell, Sean D. F.; Reimer, Paula J.; Ruffell, Alastair; Cresswell, Alan J.; Kinnaird, Timothy C.; Sanderson, David C. W.; Taylor, Sean; Malone, Caroline; Stoddart, Simon; Vella, Nicholas C.
2020Chapter 3 : the Holocene vegetation history of the Maltese IslandsFarrell, Michelle; Hunt, Chris O.; Coyle McClung, Lisa
2020Chapter 4 : molluscan remains from the valley coresFenech, Katrin; Hunt, Chris O.; Vella, Nicholas C.; Schembri, Patrick J.
2020Chapter 5 : the geoarchaeology of past landscape sequences on Gozo and MaltaFrench, Charles; Taylor, Sean
2020Chapter 6 : cultural landscapes in the changing environments from 6000 to 2000 BCGrima, Reuben; Stoddart, Simon; Hunt, Chris O.; French, Charles; McLaughlin, Rowan; Malone, Caroline
2020Chapter 7 : cultural landscapes from 2000 BC onwardsStoddart, Simon; Pace, Anthony; Cutajar, Nathaniel; Vella, Nicholas C.; McLaughlin, Rowan; Malone, Caroline; Meneely, John; Trump, David
2020Chapter 8 : the intensification of the agricultural landscape of the Maltese ArchipelagoBennett, Jeremy
2020Chapter 9 : locating potential pastoral foraging routes in Malta through the use of a Geographic Information SystemAlberti, Gianmarco; Grima, Reuben; Vella, Nicholas C.
2020Chapter 10 : settlement evolution in Malta from the Late Middle Ages to the early twentieth century and its impact on domestic spaceSaid-Zammit, George A.
2020Chapter 11 : conclusionsFrench, Charles; Hunt, Chris O.; Farrell, Michelle; Fenech, Katrin; McLaughlin, Rowan; Grima, Reuben; Vella, Nicholas C.; Schembri, Patrick J.; Stoddart, Simon; Malone, Caroline
2020ReferencesFrench, Charles; Hunt, Chris O.; Grima, Reuben; McLaughlin, Rowan; Stoddart, Simon; Malone, Caroline
2020Appendix 1 : how ground penetrating radar (GPR) worksRuffell, Alastair
2020Appendix 2 : luminescence analysis and dating of sediments from archaeological sites and valley fill sequencesCresswell, Alan J.; Sanderson, David C. W.; Kinnaird, Timothy C.; French, Charles
2020Appendix 3 : deep core borehole logsHunt, Chris O.; Fenech, Katrin; Farrell, Michelle; McLaughlin, Rowan
2020Appendix 4 : granulometry of the deep coresFenech, Katrin
Collection's Items (Sorted by Submit Date in Descending order): 1 to 20 of 26