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 from development projects. Now, MEPA’s re-categorisation of the area means it falls under the highest level of state protection.

Tal-Wej’s ancient features include dolmens, quarries, shaft and chambered tombs, two corbelled huts, and a 16th-century chapel. One enigma, numerous Bronze Age ‘cart ruts’ or parallel lines that run across the limestone landscape, has long been debated: archaeologists suggest they may have been worn by sledges transporting stone or soil, or perhaps were water channels used for irrigation.


This article is an extract from the full article published in World Archaeology Issue 50. Click here to subscribe