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Palazzo Falson Historic House Museum, Mdina in conjunction with the Department of History of Art of the University of Malta is organizing a cycle of Sunday morning monthly lectures, during which established and emerging researchers and academics will present the results of their recent research on aspects of medieval art and architecture of the Maltese islands.


7th March 2010 @10.30am: The Ogee Arch in Maltese Architecture Lecturer: Charlene Vella B.A. (Hons)

The use of the term ogee could refer to a type of arch that consists of two convex and two concave arcs that converge to form a cusp at its crown. Examples that survive in Mdina include arch depressions that are carved in relief in a slanted, chamfered way out of individual limestone blocks that are used as lintels above doorways. The most easily accessible is situated at street level on a building in Mesquita Street. There are quite a few examples, but in which visual language do they speak?

Currently an MA candidate in the History of Art Department at the University of Malta researching the Mediterranean context of the art and architecture of Medieval Malta, Ms Vella is the resident art critic for the Sunday Times of Malta since 2008. 

11th April 2010 @ 09.30am: Investigating the water management systems of Palazzo Falson, the Civitas and select rural areas Lecturer: Keith Buhagiar M.A.

It is the aim of this lecture to attempt an analysis of the water harvesting and retrieval strategies practiced at Palazzo Falson site and other areas within the Civitas.  Apart from the collection and storage of water in cisterns, the recent investigation of a subterranean water-related system at Palazzo Falson revealed the probable presence of a water gallery, which provided the site with a perennial water supply.  Although lacking scientific dating, water galleries are also recorded from within a Maltese rural context and are typologically similar to the Qanat technology of the Islamic and the Roman world.

Keith Buhagiar is an MA graduate in archaeology at the University of Malta specialising in Maltese medieval and early modern cave-settlements and their related water management systems.  Currently reading for a Ph.D. his research centres round Maltese late medieval settlement distribution and water management systems in Malta.  Mr 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 Mediterranean, North African and Near Eastern water management systems, troglodytism and Mediterranean settlement location and distribution.  


2nd May 2010 @10.30am: An Evaluation of the Maltese Roundel Carving with particular reference to the Palazzo Falson Specimens Lecturer: Robert Galea B.A. (Hons)

The aim of the lecture is to evaluate the Roundel Carvings of Late Medieval and Early Modern Maltese Buildings and to bring to light the number of roundels found in both the interior and exterior walls of Palazzo Falson in Mdina.The use and meaning of these roundels will be discussed in their proper context of Late Medieval and Early Modern Malta. The North-African and Western European influences, which proved to be very instrumental in the importation of various decorative motifs over to Malta, will also be given due importance. The various motifs which prevail in the Maltese Islands will be categorised in different groups. Photos of the various delicately incised miniature roundels appearing in the entrance lobby and the larger roundel embellishing the mullioned window of the first floor of the Late Medieval Palazzo will be shown. Composition, measurements, dates of their execution, techniques used, as well as authenticity will be discussed. Each example will be categorised into one of the three groups of motifs that prevail in the roundels of the Maltese Islands. Comparisons and evaluations with other specimens found both in Mdina and in other districts of Malta will be made.

Robert Galea is an M.A. candidate in Art History at the University of Malta. His research has led him to explore Muxrabija-Windows and Roundel Carvings in the Maltese Islands, which research formed the subject of his undergraduate thesis. 

13th June 2010 @10.30am: The architecture of Medieval Mdina Lecturer: Perit Karm Farrugia

The lecture will feature several Mdina dwellings exposing their Medieval interiors, hidden behind baroque facades. A few surprises shall be revealed during the lecture.

Karm Farrugia has worked for a number of years as an architect. He is a member of the Kamra tal-Periti and has overseen the restoration of various important buildings such as the facade of St Mary of Jesus Church and the Franciscan Convent at Rabat, Malta. He is resident architect of the Mdina Local Council and has been commissioned to undertake various works in Mdina, increasing his expertise in his chosen area of specialisation.

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