Have you ever wanted to explore a really (really) old underwater shipwreck? Now’s your chance! Heritage Malta’s new exhibition, Exploring the Phoenician Shipwreck off Xlendi, transports you directly into a 10-year long project that studied a shipwreck that dates all the way back to 700 BCE.
The story behind the shipwreck
The study began 10 years ago (back in 2007), when the wreck was spotted just off Xlendi Bay in Gozo. Headed by archaeologist Prof. Timmy Gambin, a team of divers and historians began a study on the wreck found 110 m below the surface.
This Phoenician vessel is the oldest one ever found in the Central Mediterranean, with most wrecks usually dating back to the Roman Period around 2 BCE, and is a very important finding because only a handful of Phoenician vessels are known to exist.
What makes it even more exciting, is that the first sonar images showed the ship was full of perfectly preserved cargo – this could shed some light into what the ship was doing so close to the Maltese isles and what the trade across the Mediterranean back in 700 BCE consisted of.
The bulk of the cargo consisted of dozens of amphorae (jugs) packed closely together. The amphorae became a central part of the study, particularly because they help unearth information on what was leaving Malta back then. For example; if there was wine in any of the jugs (and let’s face it, there probably was) they could study exactly what type of grape was used to make the wine.
Where and when…
You can learn more about the discoveries of this 10-year long project, how the ship fits into the Mediterranean’s history, as well as how the dive and research was carried out, at Heritage Malta‘s newest exhibition Exploring the Phoenician Shipwreck off Xlendi in Gozo’s Cittadella.
And it’s completely free!
Entrance is free – the exhibition is on from now until August 2019, so you have plenty of time to plan and head on over to learn more about this amazing discovery.