Sunday, October 11, 2009

5000-year-old tombs under study in Kercem

Studies are underway on two tombs believed to be 5000 years old, which have been discovered in an excavation site in Kercem, Gozo.

The tombs were unearthed during extension works at the parish priest's house, which lies adjacent to the parish church. Pottery recovered so far place the origins of tombs in the Tarxien phase of Maltese prehistory, currently dated to about 3000-2500 BC. The excavations are being carried out by the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage under the direction of Anthony Pace.

The Department of Information said the rock-cut tombs lay undisturbed for almost 5000 years. They may have been first encountered during the construction of Kercem parish church, between 1846-51, which involved extensive quarrying. However the tombs did not draw any further attention and went unnoticed for another 163 years until the present development.

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