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7 September 2008
Cemetery expansion finds Bronze Age remains in Malta

A cluster of five silos dating back to the Bronze Age period were recently discovered when excavation work, forming part of a project to extend the Luqa cemetery (Malta), was being carried out. Nathaniel Cutajar, from the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage, said that the superintendence had insisted with the Luqa parish church that an archaeologist should monitor the construction work for the enlargement of the cemetery, since various cisterns and silo pits had previously been discovered in the area known as Tal-Mejtin.
     Themistocles (Temi) Zammit who discovered, among others, the Hypogeum, Tarxien Temples, Hagar Qim, Mnajdra, and St Paul's Catacombs had unearthed a number of silos in the same area, while British archaeologist David Trump had also discovered another cluster of pits in the 1960s. Mr Cutajar said such silo pit clusters are evidence of ancient settlement, both from prehistory and from the Classical period. "On the basis of earlier investigations, we know that the Tal-Mejtin silos in Luqa were in use since the Early Bronze Age, and possibly earlier. It is clear that the recently discovered silos are ancient in origin, even though they were used in later periods as water cisterns."  Mr Cutajar said the tightly grouped cluster of silos is relatively well preserved and has a high intrinsic value. The Superintendence of Cultural Heritage has taken measures to ensure the Bronze Age pits are preserved in line with the norms of the Cultural Heritage Act.
     The Bronze Age culture replaced the Temple culture, which ended mysteriously in Malta some time around 2,500 BCE. Among the discoveries dating back to this period, which lasted till about 700 BCE, are the cart ruts and the dolmens scattered around the Maltese Islands.

Source: The Malta Independent (31 August 2008)

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