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Research on early pottery found in Malta

Dr Catriona Brogan

Dr Catriona Brogan

Dr Catriona Brogan from Northern Ireland has been awarded a Marie Curie fellowship to explore the emergence of the earliest prehistoric ceramic phases in Malta through multi-disciplinary laboratory-based methods, including typological analysis and material characterisation. During her stay in Malta she will be hosted by the University of Malta’s Department of Classics and Archaeology.

Her visit forms part of the Maltapot project, which is aimed at developing methodologies for the archival and analysis of prehistoric cera­mic assemblages and to advance new methods of displaying and dissemination of results to both the wider public and academics. The research will increase knowledge regarding the earliest settlers on the Maltese islands, and will have wider implications for our understanding of Mediterranean archaeology during this period of Neolithic colonisation, by exploring the material record to enlighten our understanding of ancient chronologies, aesthetics, technologies, trade networks and cultures. The project will also serve to consolidate the Department of Classics and Archaeology’s research cluster on pottery and extend its researchers’ network of professional contacts in Europe and beyond.

This interdisciplinary research, which will be supervised by Prof. Nicholas Vella, Dr Maxine Anastasi and Dr John C. Betts, will be carried out in collaboration with other departments of the University, including Metallurgy and Materials Engineering and Systems and Control Engineering, as well as with Heritage Malta. A series of public events will also be held to disseminate the results of the research as well as to promote the development of skills in the heritage sector.

Catriona Brogan was awarded her Ph.D in Neolithic and Bronze Age burial archaeology in Northern Ireland from Queen’s University Belfast in 2015. She is currently working as a post-doctoral research assistant on the European Research Council-funded Fragsus project, which has given her a comprehensive knowledge of prehistoric Maltese pottery.

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