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  • Ta Qali
  • USA Embassy Grounds, Malta
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    Credits

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    • AIAC_logo logo

    Periods

    • No period data has been added yet

    Chronology

    • 100 BC - 800 AD

    Season

      • The site in question is currently being developed by the United States of America for the construction of a new Embassy in Malta. Early 2007 a report by the Works Division notified the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage regarding some exposed circular holes during site clearance. Following monitoring by SCH several more circular holes were exposed. In July 2007 a group of archaeologists led by Clive Vella commenced the archaeological excavations of two areas in a site measuring about 200 by 300 m. In the northern part of the site 18 circular pits were excavated. These pits were mutilated through extensive site quarrying, however, their bottle neck shape in section could be made out in the better preserved ones. One of the pits contained a Bronze Age deposit (Borg In-Nadur phase) indicating towards the possibility that the pits were excavated during prehistory and reutlized at a later stage. All of the other pits were infilled with Roman Imperial material dated to 1st century BC. The Roman deposits can be divided into two types: middens and quarrying waste. The midden deposits contained some imported fine wares particularly black slip plates and cup, possibly hailing from Syracuse. Albeit, labour intensive the quarrying waste deposits repeatedly yielded well weather rocks mutilated in a sub angular manner. Considering both deposit types it was possible to interprate that a nearby structure or set of structures were being dismantled whilst a settlement was installed in the Roman Imperial era. Going around this circular pits area was a rut road that ranged in preservation due to weathering and quarrying. This alignment was followed for 35 m and clearly went around the pits. From British era ordinance survey sheets it has become possible to foresee the alignment. We are currently overlying maps to confirm the route. On the southern side of the ruts a series of vine trenches were uncovered and excavated. Their infilling red soil was of a peaty matrix with some small Roman pottery recovered. Surely, this find can be associated to the previous mention of a Roman Imperial setttlement. Furthermore, to the south surrounded, and somewhat damaged by quarries are a series of mutilated tombs. These chamber tombs had been quarried for about one metre, and therefore, they lacked roofs. Unfortunately the benches for the dead were for the most part cleared, however, our team ostheologist managed to recover bone material from the gutter trenches with some Late Classical to Early Medieval ceramics. The analysis of the bones is being undertaken currently. All in all the site of Ta\' Qali yielded a very interesting set of sites that clearly \'lived\' with each other.

    Bibliography

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