This is an online event.
Sponsored by: The Archaeological Society Malta
Abstract : After existing for over one thousand years, the Maltese Temple Period ended around 4,300 years ago. Understanding why has been a topic of considerable interest and debate. In this talk Dr Huw S. Groucutt will discuss this topic, outlining recent research on themes such as regional climate change and evidence for the arrival of new groups of humans. Chronological modelling studies are presented which indicate a correlation between archaeological activity and regional climate, which indicate a long-term societal decline in the final centuries of the Temple Period. Yet, does climate change alone explain the end of the Temple Period, or was something else involved, such as new groups of humans arriving, perhaps bringing a plague epidemic with them? Against this backdrop Dr Groucutt will outline recent research on the distribution and character of Maltese chert. Chert was the main kind of stone used to make stone tools in Maltese prehistory, and is therefore crucial to understanding ancient Maltese society, yet it has seen relatively little study. New insights on the distribution and character of chert in Malta are discussed. This offers new perspectives on the character of Temple Period material culture, and the extent to which the Maltese islands were isolated or integrated with neighbouring regions such as Sicily.