Title: Investigating Cosmology in the Prehistoric Temple Period in Malta - Work in Progress Seminar Series (WIPSS)
Date: Tuesday 10 December 2019
Time: 18:00 till 20:00
Venue: Faculty of Arts Library, University of Malta
Speaker: Tore Lomsdalen (Department of Classics and Archaeology, University of Malta)
Convenors: Prof Peter Mayo, Dr Michael Briguglio, Francois Zammit
Investigating Cosmology in the Prehistoric Temple Period in Malta
The aim of this PhD research program is to explore possible insights into prehistoric cosmology through landscape, viewscape and skyscape archaeology of the prehistoric megalithic monuments constructed during the Maltese Temple Period (3,600 BCE - 2,500 BCE). A key research question to be examined is whether the monuments were preferentially located or oriented in such a way that may reflect some aspects of the Temple Period society’s belief system and worldview.
This research is both deductive and inductive. It aims to further the evidence-based reconstruction of Temple Period cosmology by creating new understanding of existing issues, and by extending the works of others through fresh applications of their methodology.
The methodology involves data collection through field survey, photographic documentation of field observations, and statistical testing and analysis of data at hand. Geographical Information Systems (GIS), digital recreation of the Maltese horizon, and astronomical software programs that renders the visible sky back to the Maltese Temple Period are tools used to retrieve results.
At this stage of the research, it is too premature to present any definite conclusions. Nevertheless, preliminary results will be presented regarding intervisibility between sites in the landscape, temple locations in relation to their apparent horizon and statistical testing if the temples were oriented towards specific celestial objects and skyscape events.