Perfectly Preserved Punic Tomb Discovered In Malta: It Dates Back 2,000 Years.

The Maltese archipelago is described as a “place of mystery and wonder”. This is certainly due to its history, which began around 5,900 BC, as well as to the discoveries and finds that have been made. On the island of Malta, precisely in the municipality of Zabbar, archaeologists have discovered a well-preserved 2,000-year-old Punic tomb and are currently expanding their research network.


image credit: Malta Today

Initially, the tomb was thought to date from the Late Bronze Age, around 3,500 years ago, but further examinations have refuted this first hypothesis. The tomb was in excellent condition and was still sealed. Researchers opened it, however, and found inside two urns containing the cremated remains of human bones. But that’s not all: inside were also an amphora, a glass perfume bottle, a lantern, and other ceramic vases.


image credit: Malta Today

The remains of the bones were analyzed and it was concluded that the bones were from an adult and a child. It was indeed not uncommon for the remains to be accompanied by funerary objects, such as the oil lamp, the amphora, and the perfume bottle. It is a funeral rite that, over time, took on different connotations in Punic and Roman times: sometimes the bodies were burned, other times they remained intact and were buried in the tomb. It was not easy to proceed with the cremation of the bodies: a large number of resources were required, which were not always available. It takes wood and the presence of someone to take care of the process, which can last for hours.


image credit: Malta Today

This is not the first time that a Punic tomb has been discovered in Malta; hundreds of discoveries have been made so far. The Punic people have indeed settled along the Mediterranean. The Water Service Corporation is currently on site in Zabbar, where it is expanding its research to the southern parts of the city. Will other discoveries be made? We can’t say yet, but the site is defined as “archaeologically sensitive” and – for this reason – the superintendent has requested that an archaeologist accompany the crew in case any further finds of ancient remains are made.

source used: MaltaToday

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