The latest Heritage Malta exhibition has opened in Gozo at the Citadel -Exploring the Phoenician Shipwreck off Xlendi.
The exhibition focuses on the discovery of a Phoenician shipwreck which dates back to 700 BC. Discovered off Xlendi in 2007 at a depth of 110m.
Heritage Malta said that this intriguing ancient vessel has attracted worldwide attention since it is the oldest wreck ever found so far in this region.
The exhibition was officially inaugurated at the Gozo Area Office at the Cittadella by the Minister for Gozo Dr Justyne Caruana, Dr. Anton Refalo, Chairman of Heritage Malta, and Prof. Timmy Gambin, Head of Heritage Malta’s Underwater Cultural Heritage Unit.The Phoenicians were renowned as skillful and brave maritime traders who managed to create an impressive commercial network across several countries.
Their trading routes are known to have extended as far up into Britain and to Mesopotamian ports and also east to mainland Greece and Crete, said Heritage Malta, yet the exact routes on which they travelled have remained elusive.
The discovery of shipwrecks which date to the Phoenician Period shed further light on the possible trade routes of these mysterious Phoenician merchants.
Based on more than 10 years of research, the University of Malta, in collaboration with a number of partners, has utilised state of the art technologies to study and explore one of the most exciting underwater archaeological discoveries in the Central Mediterranean.Heritage Malta explained that the exhibition will highlight some of the innovative techniques that were used in this project, including the methods utilised to recover a number of artefacts from the shipwreck, some of which were previously unknown in the archaeological record.
Besides following the results of this interesting study, visitors at this exhibition will be able to explore a number of artefacts which were recovered from the Phoenician shipwreck.
Moreover, they can use the audio-visual aids to transport themselves into an underwater world of historical discovery. The exhibition will also explain stories of trade, exchange, production, and consumption in the Archaic Mediterranean.
Research is ongoing and the results will form a significant permanent part of the Gozo Museum, which Heritage Malta and the Ministry for Gozo are collaborating, with work due to start soon.
Heritage Malta said that the material from this exhibition has also been exhibited in Brussels during Malta’s European Presidency, and was met with considerable international interest.
This exhibition is being held at Heritage Malta’s Gozo Area Office, Exhibition Hall, St Martin’s Quarter Street, Cittadella and is open for the public to view until the 31st of August 2019.
Opening hours are – Monday to Friday from 8.00am till 4.00pm. Admission is free of charge.
Photographs: MGOZ/George Scerri