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About Me

I am currently a third year Phd student at the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World[link] at Brown University [link]. Born and raised in Malta, I attended the University of Malta where I earned my B.A (Hons.) and M.A in Archaeology. Since 2004 I have worked as a CRM professional and have coordinated numerous excavations for several clients, including the Government of Malta, United States of America Embassy in Malta, and private developers.  I have also maintained a strong research interest, as indicated by my participation in EU funded projects led by the University of Malta and the the Institute of Tourism Studies. 

Since 2007 I have been actively participating in the archaeological excavations of Coppa Nevigata in the Puglia region of Italy led by the Universita degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza". Also as of 2008 I have been working with the Missione Archeologica Italiana a Malta, as part of the prehistoric unit at the temple of Tas-Silg, Malta.  In the summer of 2009 I also excavated in Gibraltar with the Gibraltar Museum and at Chiancudda in the Puglia region of Italy led by the Universita Di Foggia.  Additionally, in 2008-09 I was awarded a research grant by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which was carried out at the Universita degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza" with a focus on lithic micro-wear analysis.

Research Interests

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My own upbringing in Malta has led me to gain a strong interest in western Mediterranean islands, particularly the Maltese Islands, Pantelleria, Palmarola and Sicily. Several of the western Mediterranean islands exhibit diverse cultural adaptations that are intimately related to their unique and diverse landscape. However, in this uniqueness these islands are bound by a common factor: the sea. In my past and present research, I use lithic assemblages as a means to comprehend  the technological adaptation, and thus the movement required to procure these raw materials. I am also interested on applying spatial analysis on a site level to better comprehend the internal organization and occupational use of settlement spaces.  Furthermore, I am becoming increasingly interested in the act of voyaging and the knowledge required for prehistoric communities.

I am a co-founder and editor of the recently set up A.T.P.G Society. This society is divided into two multimedia applications, that is a free open access e-journal ( Traces in Time) and a web-based platform for experimental archaeology videos (  Living Past). For abstracts or multimedia submissions please contact

For more information please refer to my curriculum vitaeDocument IconClive Vella CV 2012.doc or follow this [link] 

Academic Publications

11. In review Thomas M. Urban, Emanuela Bocancea, Clive Vella, Christopher A. Tuttle and Susan E. Alcock, A geophysical investigation of a newly discovered Bronze Age site near Petra, Jordan. Journal of Archaeological Science.  

10. 2013 Thomas M. Urban, Emanuela Bocancea, Clive Vella, Susan Herringer, Christopher A. Tuttle, Susan E. Alcock. Investigating Ancient Dams in Petra’s Northern Hinterland with Ground Penetrating Radar. The Leading Edge 32 (2): 190-192.

9. 2012 Clive Vella, Thomas M. Urban, Emanuela Bocancea, Christopher A. Tuttle and Susan E. Alcock. Discovery of an Early Bronze Age settlement of Jabal al-Qarn near Petra, Jordan. Antiquity 086 (334). 

8. (co-authored with Maurizio Moscoloni) In review Typological and technological considerations of the lithics recovered from the 2003-2010 seasons at the site of Tas-Silg. Rivisita degli Studi dell’Antichita.

 7. In press The lithic assemblage. In Excavations at Tas-Silg, Malta conducted by the Department of Classics and Archaeology, University of Malta (1996-2005) by Anthony Bonanno & Nicholas Vella. 

6. 2011 The lithics. In Borg in-Nadur: Maltese prehistory in its Mediterranean setting by Nicholas Vella & Davide Tanasi. Monza: Polimetrica

5. 2010 The lithic assemblage of the promontory site at Ras il-Pellegrin. Traces in Time 1: 1-24

4. 2009 The lithic toolkit of Late Neolithic Ta' Hagrat, Malta. Origini XXXI: 85-103

3. 2008 Distribution patterns of imported lithic tools in Early Neolithic Skorba. In Ta' Hagrat and Skorba: Ancient Monuments in a Modern World by Maria Elena Zammit & Joanne Mallia. Malta: Heritage Malta. 

2. 2008 Emerging interactions between prehistoric Sicily and Malta through the perspective of lithic tools, KASA project: Palermo.

1. 2008 Report on Sicilian lithic tools at Skorba, KASA project: Palermo.

Invited Publication Contributions and Popular Articles

2. 2012 Vella, C, Donta, J, Nadeau, J,Reti, J, and Weigel, N . ‘EverybodyMade Stone Tools: Exploring Lithic Methodology’. Journal of Lithic Technology 37 (1).  

1. 2012 Docter, R. F, Vella, N.C, Cutajar, N, Bonanno, A and Pace, A. Rural Malta: First results of the Joint Belgo-Maltese Survey Project. BABESCH 87: 117-157 (Lithic Analysis Pgs. 131-132).

Courses Completed

Fall 2010

Spring 2011

Fall 2012

 Spring 2012

Fall 2012

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