The FRAGSUS project – new exciting discoveries about early Malta and its inhabitants

Did you know that new research has shown that the first inhabitants of Malta arrived about 700 years earlier than previously thought? And that the Maltese islands saw more than one episode of Neolithic colonisation? What was the impact of humans on the fragile landscapes of Malta? Was the existence of the first settlers in Malta sustainable? Where did the Maltese prehistoric population come from and were they healthy?

A five year research project has the answers to these questions and others. Ongoing research was carried out by an international interdisciplinary team who worked together to shed light on environmental changes and their effect on the human population in Maltese prehistory.

The research, Fragility and sustainability in restricted island environments: Adaptation, cultural change and collapse in prehistory, was funded by the European Research Council. The FRAGSUS project was a collaboration between scientists and archaeologists from Malta, Britain and Ireland.

The research included archaeological excavation, the analysis of Neolithic human remains, landscape and soil history obtained from deep sediment cores to reconstruct the ancient environment, and exacting radiocarbon dating. Questions were put forward to tackle the issue of human impact coupled with climate change, on fragile landscapes over time.

The combined results offer a revolutionary new picture of how life on the Maltese island changed according to the flactuating environment during prehistoric times.

The results of the studies will be presented during a full day conference, between 8.30am and 5.00pm to be held on 17th March at Fort St Angelo, Birgu.

For further information, full programme and registration, to be made by 14th March, kindly send an email to or call 21239375.

In collaboration with Heritage Malta an exhibition highlighting all the results of the Fragility and Sustainability in Prehistoric Malta, will be inaugurated in the evening at the National Museum of Archaeology, Valletta. This exhibition will be open to the public free of charge from 18th March till 15th June.


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