Heritage Malta supported by the Malta Airport Foundation has announced that the world’s first deep-sea archaeological park is being built on Gozo.
The site is located at a site discovered in 1993 off the coast of the island of Gozo, just off Xlendi Bay. It is made up of monuments from the Punic Wars and is quite extensive, as it spans an area of 67,000 square meters. In turn, the depth here is as deep as 105 meters.
For the moment, a special underwater heritage unit within Heritage Malta is investigating what the origin of this unique site is. Scientists are gradually documenting the entire area and the artifacts discovered using innovative methods, some of which have never been used before at any other site.
Wrecks of ships, vessels or aircraft that rest at great depths are not unheard of. However, the site in question is relatively unique, as it is made up of thousands of ancient artifacts, such as amphorae and urns. The age of the individual objects was determined by the researchers to be around 2,300 years old.
It is an honor for the Malta Airport Foundation to contribute to such an important project. It will undoubtedly raise the profile of the Maltese Islands among technical divers and international researchers. The Foundation also hopes to support Heritage Malta in bringing this project closer to people who are neither divers nor researchers, but are eager to learn more about the history of the Maltese Islands through our underwater cultural heritage – said Malta Airport Foundation President Josef Formosa Gauci.
At the current stage of the praz, archaeologists are engaged in mapping and creating documentation of the site. All the artifacts that researchers have found are protected by the UNESCO Convention. Heritage Malta representatives said there are no plans to excavate the artifacts from the seabed. In turn, their exact location type and condition are being entered by specialists into a database.
The deep-sea archaeological park near Xlendi will be widely available in its virtual version. All thanks to 360° videos, photos and 3D models, which will go to the Underwater Malta website. It is a virtual museum that includes documentation of many local underwater archaeological sites.
Photo: Heritage Malta
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