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Why is the Project Ground Breaking?

  • The research will transform the approach to exploring issues of cultural-socio-economic sustainability in the face of uncertain and limited resources, in ways that are transferable between ancient and modern contexts.
  • Uniquely, this study examines how and why people invested in substantial monument construction, such as the UNESCO status Maltese Temples, often in a resource-poor environments and during periods of economic stress.
  • This is the first explicitly problem-focused interdisciplinary science-based research programme directed towards addressing a major archaeological question on early Malta.
  • This is a rare interdisciplinary combination of application of state of the art science techniques that addresses long-term socio-cultural change in a European context (e.g. precision dating of pollen sequences; new dating techniques of bone apatite and molluscs; tephrochronology; cutting edge soil micromorphology; GPR buried landscape feature detection; substantial isotopic pre/historical dietary study; laser surface scanning and biplanar digital radiography of bone).