University of Malta

Prof. Nicholas C. Vella
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Prof. Nicholas C. Vella


Associate Professor
Classics & Archaeology
Faculty of Arts
Archaeology Farmhouse
University of Malta
contact+356 2340 2047

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I am a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Classics and Archaeology, University of Malta, from where I graduated in 1994. I read for a doctorate at the University of Bristol, UK, in Phoenician archaeology between 1994-1998, and was Rome Scholar at the British School at Rome in 1998-1999. I joined the University of Malta in 1999 where I have been lecturing since. I spent part of the spring term in 2006 as Research Associate of the American University of Beirut in Lebanon and was Visiting Scholar at the Getty Villa in Malibu, California, in the spring of 2007. I have been heading the department since autumn 2011.

When I am not teaching, supervising graduate work or contributing to various university committees on which I sit, I pursue my research interests. Currently these include the edition (with A. Bonanno) of the final report of the University of Malta Excavations at Tas-Silg (1996-2005) which will be published by Peeters (Leuven), the edition (with J. Crawley Quinn) of The Punic Mediterranean: Identity and identification from Phoenician settlement to Roman rule (CUP), and the multi-volume edition (with A. Pessina) of the unpublished writings of the Italian archaeologist Luigi Ugolini.

I also co-direct archaeological fieldwork at the Zejtun Roman Villa and the Malta Survey Project.

Research Interests & Publications

Research Interests

  • Mediterranean prehistory
  • Phoenician archaeology
  • Punic archaeology
  • Landscape archaeology
  • History of archaeology

Selected Publications

Docter, R., Vella, N.C., Cutajar, N., Bonanno, A. & Pace, A. 2012, "Rural Malta: First Results of the Joint Belgo-Maltese Survey Project", Bulletin Antieke Beschaving, vol. 87, pp. 107-149.

De Wulf, A., Docter, R., Stal, C., Goossens, R., Nuttens, T. & Vella, N. 2011, "Intergrated 3D Geomatics for Archaeology: case study Malta", Proceedings of the 31st EARSel Symposium "Remote Sensing and Geoinformation not only for Scientific Cooperation", ed. L. Halounova, , 30 May-2 June, pp. 604.

Tanasi, D. & Vella, N.C. (eds) 2011, Site, artefacts, landscape: prehistoric Borg in-Nadur, Malta, Polimetrica, Monza.

Vella, N.C. 2010, "Views from the Punic countryside [review article]", Journal of Roman Archaeology, vol. 23, pp. 459-463.

Pessina, A. & Vella, N.C. 2009, "Alla ricerca delle radici mediterranee: i templi megalitici di Malta" in Relitti riletti: metamorfosi delle rovine e identita culturale, ed. M. Barbanera, Bollati Boringhieri, Torino, pp. 400-415.

Vella, D., Licari, J., Vella, N.C., Sultana, S. & Ciantar, V. 2009, "Copy or authentic? Analysis of a Phoenician gold ring from the National Museum of Archaeology, Valletta, Malta", ArcheoSciences - Revue d'archeometrie, vol. 33, pp. 349-355.

Vella, N.C. 2007, "Unravelling past agricultural landscapes in the Maltese Islands: making a case for the Phoenician and Punic periods" in Sítios e paisagens rurais do Mediterrâneo púnico., eds. A.M. Arruda, C. Gómez Bellard & P. van Dommelen, Colibri and Centro de Arqueologia da Universidade de Lisboa, Lisbon, pp. 69-85.

Riva, C. & Vella, N.C. (eds) 2006, Debating Orientalization: Multidisciplinary Approaches to Change in the Ancient Mediterranean, Equinox, London.

Vella, N.C. & Gilkes, O. 2001, "The Lure of the Antique: Nationalism, Politics and Archaeology in British Malta (1880-1964)", Papers of the British School at Rome, vol. 69, no. Centenary Volume, pp. 353-384.


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