Development & Alumni Relations Office 


02 March 2018

Dr Catriona Brogan, a Research Fellow from the School of Natural and Built Environment at Queen’s, has been awarded a Marie Curie fellowship worth €160,000 to explore the emergence of the earliest prehistoric ceramic phases in Malta.

As reported last week in the Times of Malta, Dr Brogan will undertake her research through multi-disciplinary laboratory-based methods, including typological analysis and material characterisation.

Dr Brogan’s stay in Malta forms part of MaltaPot – a two-year Marie Curie fellowship based at the University of Malta’s Department of Classics and Archaeology – which is aimed at developing methodologies for the archival and analysis of prehistoric cera­mic assemblages.  

During her stay in Malta Dr Brogan will be under the supervision of Professor Nicolas Valla, Dr Maxine Anastasi and Dr John C. Betts. Heritage Malta will act as the partner organisation.

The project will explore the earliest ceramic traditions of Malta, namely the Għar Dalam, Skorba and Żebbuġ phases. While she will initially create an archive of 3D images of the ceramic sherds, the main core of the project will examine the material characteristics of the pottery to help develop a better understanding of the materials and technologies employed by Malta’s early potters.

Malta has been the subject of research by Queen’s academics for over two decades. Early Malta had a distinctive cultural evolution, focused on substantial monuments (megalithic temples) and richly graphic material culture, but the question of its rise and demise remain unexplored.

The research will increase knowledge regarding the earliest settlers on the Maltese islands, and will have wider implications for the understanding of Mediterranean archaeology during this period of Neolithic colonisation. The project will also serve to consolidate the University of Malta’s research cluster on pottery and extend its researchers’ network of professional contacts in Europe and beyond.

In addition to sharing her results with the academic world, a series of public events will be held to disseminate the results of Dr Brogan’s research to a wider audience and to promote the development of skills in the heritage sector.

Catriona Brogan graduated from Queen’s University in 2015 with a PhD in Neolithic and Bronze Age burial archaeology. 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.

Fragsus explores how humans in often very restricted places, such as islands, manage to survive and develop over long periods of time and against the backdrop of changing cultures and distinctive civilisations.

General inquiries to Gerry Power, Communications Officer, Development and Alumni Relations Office; telephone: +44 (0)28 9097 5321.


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