Despite some 335 years of Byzantine control, not much survives from this period in terms of buildings and structures. However, the relatively large variety of ceramic and pottery fragments found in Malta suggests that the islands might have had an important strategic role within the empire from the 6th to 8th centuries. Many coins too have been discovered over the years. The Byzantines were seasoned traders and masters of navigation. Their merchant ships would have been a regular sight around our coast, and all across the Mediterranean.