The 2023/24 lecture series is being held in collaboration with the
Department of Classics and Archaeology, University of Malta.
Special thanks to the head of department Dr Carmel Serracino.
All lectures will be held in person unless otherwise indicated.

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Rediscovering Roman Malta

21 February @ 6:00 PM

Lecture by Mr David Cardona – Senior Manager, Professional Services and Phoenician, Roman and Medieval Sites, Heritage Malta.

Rediscovering Roman Malta
Field report 2023 from the Melite Civitas Romana Project at the Domvs Romana of Rabat

Co-contributors: Dr Davide Tanasi(1), Dr Benedict Lowe(2), Robert Brown(3), Andrew Wilkinson(4)

1 Institute for Digital Exploration (IDEx), University of South Florida
2 Heritage Malta, Malta
3 Department of History, University of North Alabama
4 Intercontinental Archaeology, Australia

In 218 BCE Malta officially enters Roman history after six centuries of absolute Phoenicio-Punic occupation. At the outbreak of the Second Punic War, consul Tiberius Sempronius Longus secures the obedience of the inhabitants of the island. It is in the late Republican period that in the major city of Melite (modern Rabat), the most emblematic example of Romanitas emerges, exemplified by the construction of the so-called Domvs Romana; a luxuriously decorated mansion likely connected with the Roman representatives in charge. The complex and hectic urban development of Melite-Rabat from the post-classical to the contemporary period obliterated or, at best, covered the ruins of the Roman city. Its early phases are essentially represented by the Domvs Romana and its immediate environs which have been subject to isolated investigations and have resulted in few limited contexts. The importance of the Domvs has become critical for evaluating the impact of Roman culture in the formative period of the newly annexed territory. Since 2019, the Domvs has been at the center of the international collaborative project Melite Civitas Romana, which is reassessing all the evidence related to the site using modern technologies and conducting new archaeological excavations. The 2023 campaign continued excavation in the four areas around the Domvs complex, identified by geophysical prospection and the preliminary investigations of 2019 and 2022. The fieldwork has shed new light on the excavations carried out by Themistocles Zammit in 1920-1925 and has provided new preliminary data on the spatial configuration of the urban fabric of the district of Melite, where the Domvs was located, and on the post-classical occupation of this area. The examination of baulks and stratigraphic sections from Zammit’s time, and the discovery of new imposing structures alongside new and untouched contexts has for the first time offered a new perspective on the Roman and Late Roman history of Melite.




21 February
6:00 PM


The Archaeological Society Malta
View Organizer Website


Hotel Excelsior
Floriana, Malta + Google Map