The book launch of The First Maltese: How it all Began in Gozo, presented by Dr Veronica Veen. More than 30 years after the game-changing early Neolithic Għar Dalam finds made at Taċ-Ċawla, Gozo, this comprehensive new book highlights the leading role of Gozo during the first immigrations in about 5800 BC, a date which was already established by the author in 1993. 

The island truly must have been a multicultural crossroads, with settlers navigating to and from a diversity of cultural spheres: the south and east coasts of Sicily, the south of Italy, and even the Adriatic. All this is based on thorough fieldwork by Dr Adrian van der Blom. In this book, a new periodisation for Malta’s long-lasting early Neolithic is also proposed, involving the Skorba phase.

In the first book on the subject published in 1992, which revolves around Taċ-Ċawla and was likewise written to rescue the site, the stubborn prejudices that survive even to date were already refuted: the Neolithics’ “accidental” arrival “on rafts”, their “cave dwelling”, and their “primitive” nature.

On the contrary, the Neolithics’ beautiful and sophisticated pottery expresses their holistic worldview on how nature works, as found by Dr Veronica Veen through symbolic anthropological means, conveying no superfluous message in our present ecological crisis. Besides, this pictorial language represents no less than the first art by women in Malta