Archaeological investigations are currently under way at the prehistoric site of Għar Dalam after various bones belonging to animals that lived during the Ice Age were accidentally unearthed during works carried out close to the site in May.
Heritage Malta in collaboration with the Environment and Resource Authority (ERA) were removing vegetation and alien species to be replaced with indigenous tree species when the accidental find happened above and around a dilapidated room. The doorway of the then blocked room was also found during the said works.
Heritage Malta stated that the preliminary studies carried out revealed numerous fragments of prehistoric animal bones that were typically found within the cave. This showed that the dilapidated room was filled in by soils from different types that must have been excavated from the cave. Heritage Malta said that further investigations were still under way.
Cultural Minister Owen Bonnici visited the prehistoric site and the ongoing works being carried out by Heritage Malta. Bonnici mentioned a number of other studies which are planned and which form part of a larger project intended to create physical and intellectual accessibility between Għar Dalam, Ta’ Kaċċatura, Borġ in-Nadur, and nearby sites. These comprise a full digital survey of Għar Dalam, including cave and overlying areas, a structural survey of the cave, a full digital survey of Ta’ Kaċċatura Roman villa and nearby sites, archaeological cleaning of Ta’ Kaċċatura, and archaeological investigations in selected areas within and around the site.
The current excavations are being carried out by Heritage Malta in collaboration with the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage, and with the help of volunteers from the Classics and Archaeology Students Association (CASA).