2008 - Geoprospection at Ghar ix-Xih

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As part of the ongoing archaeological research programme at Għar ix-Xiħ, a systematic geophysical survey was undertaken on the site to determine the remaining depth down to bedrock, detect any buried anomalies, and gain an idea of the nature and extent of the stratigraphic levels as yet unexcavated. 

This geophysical survey or geoprospection was carried out on Saturday, 26th April 2008 by Lieven Verdonk from the University of Ghent, Belgium. He was assisted by two archaeology students from the University of Malta: Mevrick Spiteri and Maxine Anastasi. The exercise employed two types of georadar: a low frequency and low resolution georadar for deep penetration and a high frequency and high resolution one for the detection of any buried – even if small – anomalies. 

The results attained are expected to lead to a better understanding of the site and, consequently, will help to formulate a more suitable strategy to be adopted in the upcoming excavation seasons. 

Group visits to Għar ix-Xiħ and to Mġarr ix-Xini Valley 

Meanwhile, on the same day, a group of archaeology enthusiasts and members of the Malta Archaeological Society who were touring a number of archaeological sites in Gozo, paid a visit to Għar ix-Xiħ. They were introduced to the site and provided with information on the excavations’ progress by Dr Nicholas Vella, excavation supervisor and senior lecturer of archaeology at the University of Malta, who was accompanying the group. 

On the previous Sunday, 20th April 2008, another group of archaeology lecturers and students from the American School in Athens visited Mġarr ix-Xini Valley. They were likewise on a guided tour to various archaeological places in Gozo led by Mr Nathaniel Cutajar from the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage. During this visit, they had the opportunity to admire a number of rock-cut trough sets and exchange their views on them.

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