Malta Group of Professional Engineering Institutions - Irrigating a semi-arid landscape, Malta

18 February, 2016 | 17:45 - 22:00

Find out more about irrigating a semi-arid landscape.
Find out more about irrigating a semi-arid landscape.

About this event

The annexation of the Maltese archipelago to Norman Sicily in AD 1127 appears to have been characterised by a centralised coordinated effort aimed at increasing the hydrological and agricultural output of specifically designated countryside areas in north and northwest Malta.

Known as viridaria or giardini, these agricultural estates had access to a series of perennial springs. Many of these originated from a series of man-excavated perched aquifer galleries, a number of which subscribe to qanat-type water extraction systems.

This lecture seeks to investigate water gallery typologies and physiognomy, as well as the role these had in the transformation of the rural Medieval Maltese landscape.

Complimentary refreshments will be served at 5.45 pm.

This is a free event open to the general public.


For more information and to book, please contact:

Elaine Vella

Event materials

The following materials are available for download:


Keith Buhagiar

Keith is a Ph.D. graduate in archaeology from the University of Malta specialising in hydrology, medieval and Early Modern Maltese cave-settlements and their related water management systems, as well as rural landscape development.

Dr Buhagiar is a visiting lecturer in palaeochristian and medieval archaeology at the Department of Classics and Archaeology at the University of Malta. Research interests include central Mediterranean, North African and Near Eastern water management systems, cave-dwelling and Mediterranean settlement location and distribution.