St. Julien (Malta), 2-3 novembre 2007
Interconnections in the central Mediterranean: The Maltese Islands and Sicily in History

The Department of Classics and Archaeology of the University of Malta had the opportunity to organise a two day conference and excursion over the weekend of the 2nd and 3rd November 2007. The conference was funded by the K.A.S.A. project, an EU Interreg IIIA project currently underway between the universities of Malta and Catania, and the Officina di Studi Medievali of Palermo. The conference was held at the Radisson SAS Bay Point hotel on the 2nd November, whilst the Gozo excursion was held the following day. The organization and logistics were ably conducted by Chris Gemmell from the Department of Classics and Archaeology, Ms Maxine Anastasi, Secretary, and Paragon Ltd, coordinator of the K.A.S.A. project, respectively.

Despite several difficulties in securing the six foreign speakers, the conference was very successful in accomplishing its initial aims. The purpose of the conference was to bring scholars and students together in order to stimulate discussion on the subject. This proved successful as both the morning and afternoon sessions were followed by lively discussions between the audience and speakers, with vaild contributions from the students. The chairpersons were Prof. Anthony Bonanno and Dr Nicholas Vella from the Department of Classics and Archaeology, Univeristy of Malta.

The speakers who attended were:

-  Prof. Pietro Militello, the K.A.S.A. project leader from the Facoltà di Lettere e Filosofia, Università degli studi di Catania. Prof. Militello introudced the project and explained the progress achieved to date. He also relayed the greetings of Prof. Alessandro Musco, Director of the Palermo partner, who was inevitably prevented from attending.
- Prof. Anthony Bonanno, the Acting Project leader for the K.A.S.A. Project at the University of Malta and chairperson for the morning session, relayed the greetings of Dott. Loredana D’Arrigo, of the STC Interreg IIIA, who was also inevitably prevented from attending. He also presented a paper entitled Malta in the Central Mediterranean Context in the Late Bronze and Archaic Ages: settlement and trade networks instead of Prof. Massimo Cultraro who was unable to reach Malta for the conference because of unavailabilty of flight seats.
Prof. Pascal Arnaud from the Univerisité de Nice presented a paper entitled Crossroads of the ancient Mediterranean: Malta, Sicily and Pantelleria in context.
Dott. Rossana de Simone from the Università degli Studi di Palermo, presented a paper entitled Sicilia e Malta in età fenicia e punica: problemi e prospettive.
- Dott. Margherita Cassia, Università degli Studi di Catania, presented a paper entitled Medicina cristiana e chirurgia tardoantica: malattia e guarigione nelle isole maltesi e in Sicilia tra IV e V secolo d.C.
Prof. Ferdinando Maurici presented a paper entitled Le isole minori della Sicilia e l’arcipelago Maltese dall’età bizantina alla conquista islamica.
Prof. Thomas Freller from the Deutsche Angestellten Akadamie in Stuttgart presented a paper entitled Persons of reference: Maltese and Sicilian scholars and their importance for the Grand Tour.

The conference was attended by 55 participants comprised mostly of 2nd and 3rd year students reading for a B.A. / B.A. (Hons) course in archaeology at the University of Malta, as well as post-graduate students conducting their Masters research in archaeology. A balance was struck with the additional attendence of several other interested participants from different agencies around Malta. The attendants included  Prof. Joseph Brincat, professor of linguistics from the University of Malta, Prof. Anthony Frendo from the Near Eastern Studies department at the University of Malta, Mrs Suzannah Depasquale and Ms Sharon Sultana, senior curators of the National Museum of Archaeology/Heritage Malta, and the Curator of the Wignacourt Museum, Mons. Gwann Azzopardi.

The conference was followed by an excursion to Gozo. The excursion included a visit to the Ġġantija temples, the Museum of Archaeology and the Gozo Citadel. It was realised that none of the foreign speakers, with the exception of Prof. Freller, had ever been to the island of Gozo and thus this turned out to be quite a “revelation” to the guests.

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