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Explore exciting Road Scholar learning adventures in Malta.


Formerly known as ELDERHOSTEL

Compelling New Light on the Launch of Western Civilization Comes with a Soundtrack

The pursuit of supernatural sound effects may be what drove the building of the first megalithic monuments and subsequent changes that shaped our world.  Archaeoacoustics: a new multi-disciplinary field of study provides a compelling understanding of what sound and music were doing for people in the ancient world.  By relating the world’s oldest monumental sites, their artifacts and cultural traditions related to the use of sound, a history-book-changing picture emerges about ancient human development. 

Myakka City, Florida – Many laypeople may see the word “archaeoacoustics” as a typo, unaware that this intricate new field of study holds the key to understanding the world’s oldest monuments and the people who launched western civilization.  It’s the study of sound as it relates to the ancient world, and pioneering researchers are passionate about harnessing its power.  

Ancient societies have left us clues in architectural components and art that are pure expression in their own prehistoric language, but it isn’t easy for us to read.  With the study of Archaeoacoustics, the world’s oldest buildings, from Gobekli Tepe in Anatolia to the megalithic temples of Malta to the passage tombs of Ireland and dolmens of Portugal are examined with scientific data from the realms of Archaeology, Architecture, Anthropology, Genetics, Physics, and Physiology.   Fascinating pieces of evidence can be set side by side, resulting in a stunning premise that not only goes where no one has gone before, but has big implications for how we might be able to reclaim ancient knowledge for productive use today. 

A number of international conferences and field expeditions have brought together data that weaves an intricate ancient tapestry in a way never previously explored.  “The most significant factor in this field is its multi-disciplinary aspect,” explains Linda C. Eneix, organizer and editor of proceedings.  Eneix feels that modern compartmentalization of specialized knowledge has unintentionally handicapped our understanding one of the most pivotal times in the human story: the agricultural revolution that fostered settlement in towns and eventually cities.   “A phenomenon that at first seems like pseudo-science to an archaeologist becomes abundantly clear when it is explained by a physicist.   A rock art specialist can help us see details that could easily be overlooked by the untrained eye.  Something that musicologists have known for years takes on new meaning when it is applied to ancient social structure and lifestyle.” 

Archaeologist Dr. Fernando Coimbra agrees, “The multidisciplinary character of Archaeoacoustics can provide a deeper insight, providing a better knowledge of the past, a better understanding of the present and a better planning of the future.”  Coimbra recognizes a new direction for interpretation of heritage sites.  “In the last years,” he says, “Archaeoacoustics has been contributing with important data in order to understand better several social aspects of past communities, when studying, for example, the acoustic properties of some places, sound frequencies and acoustic phenomena, among other aspects. Indeed this helps to explain the role of sound across History and its effects on the human brain and consequent behavior of individuals and societies. “

The third international multi-disciplinary conference on Archaeoacoustics was held in Tomar, Portugal in October 2017.   Archaeoacoustics III was organized by  The OTS Foundation, The Polytechnic Institute of Tomar, Portugal, The Instituto Terra e Memória (ITM)  and The Geosciences Centre of Coimbra University.  

​for  OveTorbjorn Strandquist, who once gave a child $50 and said: "Do something that means something."

It's not just Malta anymore, but that is where we started . . .

From its inception in 1994, The OTS Foundation held its focus on the prehistoric heritage of the islands of Malta and Gozo: a legacy that was not fully understood locally when Malta first became an independent Republic.

For seven thousand years, every major power that sailed the Mediterranean had occupied and ruled in Malta. Suddenly, a scant handful of people became responsible for managing a mind-numbing volume of cultural heritage. Ill-understood, monumental archaeological sites that are among the most ancient and significant ruins in Europe remained "under the radar" for a long time.

We are extremely proud to have played a role in bringing Malta's Temples into their own. Over the years, operation of OTSF non-profit cultural tourism to Malta channeled benefits back to the islands. 

Our proudest achievements include:

* The initiation of a conservation expert group meeting that launched both plans for protecting the monuments and the creation of Heritage Malta
* The production of educational materials for both teachers and students in Malta to grasp a better understanding of their prehistoric heritage
* The organization of a conference that revived excavation, research and scholarship about Malta's Temple Period
* The administration and organization of world class educational travel in Malta (see below)
​* The inception of a series of international multidisciplinary conferences on Archaeoacoustics: sound behavior in ancient space, that are launching a new field of study.

We introduced a program of continuing education for architects, helped back-breed prehistoric cattle, set up visiting lecturers, funded the University of Malta's Archaeology Laboratory and sponsored its first PhD graduate in Archaeology.  We have consulted for television documentary film producers and created a lecture for the Smithsonian Institute Associates.


Now programming its 23rd consecutive year: "Malta: Keystone of Mediterranean History" continues to delight and surprise participants in our educational travel programs.

 Publication of the proceedings of the Third international conference on Archaeoacoustics
is now available from booksellers!  (AMAZON page.)

Exclusive VIP charter programs are now scheduled.  Check with Road Scholar.

A travelling museum exhibition  "ECHOES from the AGE of STONE" is next. 

OTSF President, Linda C. Eneix, International Member ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites), USA National Committee,  Interpret Europe: European Association for Heritage Interpretation e.V.

The OTS Foundation ​for Neolithic Studies

The tale of 7,000 years of human history is told in the honey-colored limestone of Malta, fashioned into architecture dating from prehistory through the Bronze Age and into Roman, medieval, Norman, Baroque and British colonial times. Examine the world's largest collection of UNESCO World Heritage monuments, including the world's oldest free-standing structures, massive 16th century fortifications, palaces of noblemen and knights, and WW2 war rooms on a journey from incredible past into vibrant present. Lingering echoes of the days of British occupation keep this delightful destination comfortably foreign but easy to navigate, with signs and newspapers in English. Abundant sunshine, a nearly constant view of the sea and a temperate climate add to the appeal. The frequent use of Malta as a location for the filming of major motion pictures also makes many parts of it seem already somehow familiar. "A Symphony in Limestone", myths and legends of the distant past rise from the pavements to enhance a full course of lectures by various experts in their fields.