Ancient tomb uncovered in Central Link works to be moved 10m

Ongoing works on the Central Link Project have shed light on an archaeological tomb under the agricultural fields along Triq Ferdinandu Inglott

Ongoing works on the Central Link Project have shed light on an archaeological tomb under the agricultural fields along Triq Ferdinandu Inglott, which will have to make way for the new road network.

The site where the tomb was found consisted of fertile agricultural land, which is now being excavated in preparation for the necessary road build-up.

The identified tomb is located in the proposed northbound vehicular carriageway.

MaltaToday is informed that the tomb may date back to Punic or Roman times, but its dating still has to be ascertained. The new resting location of the tomb will be within a radius distance of 10 metres of the present site.

Before the project was approved the Superintendence had warned of the archaeological sensitivity of the area due to similar finds in the past. For that reason, all works are being supervised by archaeologists to ensure that any site uncovered is adequately protected.

But works will still result in the destruction of several vernacular buildings, deemed to be worthy of protection – some of these rural structures will be relocated but removed from their existing context.

An old and extensive bell-shaped well has also been discovered in the area immediately next to the tomb, but while the tomb will be saved and transferred to a new nearby location, the bell-shaped tomb has already been backfilled with inert material to be buried under the new road.

The Superintendence of Cultural Heritage has not recommended any interventions to this well, whose extent still has to be determined.

A contractor will have to determine the extent of the well to ascertain whether it will have an impact on the proposed intervention on the tomb. Works will be monitored by an archaeological monitor approved by SCH.

The tomb was uncovered, manually cleaned and documented under the supervision of archaeologists.  IM was subsequently instructed by the SCH to shift the uncovered tomb to an agreed nearby location, outside the project limits. A tender has now been issued for the relocation workers.

The tomb has to be completely detached from its surrounding rock material and safely transported to the designated location using appropriate equipment. Works will be done using a chainsaw cutting machine which creates minimal vibration to the surroundings.

The tomb will be lifted using appropriate hooks welded to steel beams.

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