The Phoenicians occupied the coast of the Levant for over 1,000 years, but knowledge of their trade network and practices remains elusive. In 2007, an ancient wreck containing a large cache of ceramic containers was discovered off Malta. This ship proved to be one of only a handful of known Phoenician vessels. Since 2014, further […]
From Malta, we now travel to its sister-island Gozo, where Nadia Durrani encountered two new major restoration projects. In Maltese, Gozo is known as Għawdex (pronounced ‘audesh’), which translates as ‘joy’. And indeed, Gozo is a joyous place. One of the three main islands of the Maltese archipelago, it is a 25-minute ferry ride from Malta. […]
Queen Elizabeth, on a recent visit to Malta, offered the comment that the island appeared to be overbuilt. Indeed, it is. Thriving economically, it is a very different island today to the one Her Majesty knew in the 1940s. Malta has embraced the EU, and benefited from its inclusion. It has turned its size […]
The dig The Hypogeum Ħal-Saflieni was discovered in 1902 when builders, working on a new housing development, fell through its roof. The huge underground structure is carved out of the soft rock that lies beneath the town of Paola, on the outskirts of Valetta on Malta. Despite initial attempts to deny the discovery, so as not to hinder building work, the find […]
For nearly 5,000 years, the sanctuary site at Tas-Silġ lured worshippers to its idyllic island setting overlooking the blue waters of the Mediterranean, evolving and adapting as new religions emerged. Now, 20 years of archaeological research is bringing this long forgotten but once influential religious centre back into the limelight, as David Cardona reveals.
Temple trivia from around the world.
First settled in the late 6th millennium BC, between 3600-2500 BC the Maltese archipelago flourished into an astonishingly rich prehistoric culture, producing a wealth of stylised human figures unparalleled by contemporary peoples, as well as the oldest surviving free-standing stone buildings in the world. Constructed from massive slabs of limestone some 4m high, weighing up […]
Just outside the fortified walls of Mdina, once the capital of Malta, are the remains of a fine example of a Roman townhouse. The Domus Romana was discovered by accident in 1881 by Dr A A Caruana, a pioneer of Maltese archaeology. But as we approached, the lure of the magnificent fortress city, perched high […]
Half a dozen of us stood or crouched in the faint dawn light on either side of the great stone doorway, just inside the entrance to the main apse. The odd whispered comment was exchanged, a few words of explanation from our guide, but mostly we waited in silent anticipation, cameras at the ready. We […]
A long-neglected archaeological landscape will now be preserved after being declared a Class A Area of Archaeological Importance by the Malta Environment and Planning Authority (MEPA). The multi-period site at Tal-Wej, dating from the Bronze Age through to the 16th century, was being used as an illegal dumping ground for construction rubbish and was under threat […]
How radiocarbon dating revolutionised our concept of social evolution.
The Brochtorff Stone Circle at Xaghra on the island of Gozo reveals an amazing underground burial complex