Population Genetics of Western Mediterranean Islands - Malta: a case study

UoM administered thesis: Phd

  • Authors:
  • Josef Caruana


In order to gain a greater understanding of the genetic makeup of the Maltese population, mitochondrial DNA HVR1 and HVR2, and Y-chromosomal and autosomal STRs were amplified in a representative sample of the Maltese population. The results showed that the Maltese have close genetic ties with Sicily and mainland Italy both from a matrilineal and a patrilineal perspective, whilst no conclusive evidence was found for a Phoenician link between the Maltese and the Lebanese population. In order to try and gain an insight into the Maltese population throughout time, a study was conducted on three Maltese archaeological burial places dating from the Neolithic to the Roman period. The study extracted and amplified ancient DNA sequences from these three sites and compared the resulting mtDNA sequences with the modern Maltese population. The results showed that aDNA survives in the Maltese archaeological record, and that some haplotypes found during the Roman period in Malta are also found in the modern day population, whilst other haplotypes present in the archaeological samples are not visible in the modern Maltese population.


Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Award date1 Aug 2013