Ancient quarry discovered near the Tas-Silge archaeological site in Malta

An ancient quarry has been discovered in Malta that most likely dates back to the Classical era. This was reported by the Malta Directorate of Cultural Heritage. The area where the find was discovered is under the supervision of an approved archaeologist of the Directorate of Cultural Heritage. He immediately notified the Authority of the potential find when surfaces carved into the rocks with visible tool marks were discovered during the work.

The ancient quarry was discovered by the Water Corporation during excavation work. The Superintendency gave instructions to properly investigate the site, which turned out to be an ancient quarry with large hewn stones carved into the rock, but not yet separated from the bedrock.

Although no associated material was found and it is therefore impossible to determine an exact date based on the stones and the typology of the quarry, the find can be confidently dated to the Classic period. The Classic period is usually associated with Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome.

The discovery was made near Tas-Silcha, where there is a multi-stage archaeological complex with remains that are about 4,000 years old. Activity at Tas-Silcha began during the prehistoric Tarxien phase when several megalithic temples were built on the site. In the Phoenician-Punic period the temple was adapted to new ritual needs, but the sacred character and functions of the site were preserved. The site had once served as a Phoenician and Punic temple to the goddess Astarte and in the Roman era was transformed into a temple dedicated to the goddess Juno.

In 2021, Heritage Malta announced the discovery of a new Neolithic structure at Tas Sylge. This find was made during excavations as part of the Tas-Silge: Reconstructing the Past project, which began in 2018. The project involved the investigation and restoration of various archaeological sites, including megalithic temples, quarries, and necropolises.

Overall, the discovery of the ancient quarry is an important step in the study of Malta’s history and cultural heritage. It may help scholars better understand how megalithic temples and other architectural structures were created on the island.

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