Mobility of men versus mobility of goods: archaeometric characterization of Middle Bronze Age pottery in Malta and Sicily (15th-13th century BC)

Simona Raneri, Germana Barone, Paolo Mazzoleni, Davide Tanasi, Emanuele Costa


The aim of this paper is to offer the first petrographic and chemical characterization of Middle Bronze Age pottery of Malta (Borġ in-Nadur, half of 15th – early 12th century BC) to discriminate, in the multitude of Borġ in-Nadurvessels found in coeval sites of south-eastern and central-western Sicily, between imports and imitations and to precisely define their provenance.The present research may provide new data in order to shed light on the long standing issue about ‘mobility of men’ and ‘mobility of goods’ between the two insular contexts.
A significant amount of Borġ in-Nadurpottery from Malta and Sicily have been sampled and subjected to petrographic exam on thin sections; moreover, chemical analyses of major and trace elements were performed by X-ray fluorescence spectrometry.The research is part of an interdisciplinary project, aimed to create a database of petrographic and chemical data of Borġ in-Nadurtype pottery found in Sicily and in the Maltese archipelago, launched by the University of Catania and Arcadia University in partnership with Heritage Malta and the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage of Malta.


Archaeometry; Middle Bronze Age; pottery provenance; Borġ in-Nadur;

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0369-8963 - ISSN ONLINE: 2239-1002