This year’s (2010) excavation season at Tal-Loġġa saw the extension of a trench opened but not completed last year and which needed further investigation. This trench was also extended beyond the field wall to see the stratigraphic relationship on both sides of the said wall. Although no cultural material was obtained from the layers beyond the field wall, more pottery datable to the Punic and Roman periods was retrieved. One particular ceramic sherd of a late Roman or early Mediaeval amphora and its findspot may give us the latest date of the field wall.
The site and the excavation team were also visited by Hon. Dr Chris Said, Parliamentary Secretary responsible for the Local Councils, following a financial grant by his secretariat towards the archaeological projects of both Għar ix-Xiħ and Tal-Loġġa. The excavation project at Tal-Loġġa is expected to be continued and concluded during next year’s season.
Completion of archaeological excavations at Għar ix-Xiħ
This year’s (2010) excavation season at Għar ix-Xiħ was spread over four weeks, bringing the excavation project to an end after six consecutive seasons (2005 – 2010). This year’s excavation focused on some remaining areas whose stratigraphy needed to be better clarified and understood.
Not only the aims were achieved but some interesting results and finds were attained too. The remains of a quadrangular structure with internal subdivisions was completely exposed while the relationship of certain other structural remains to it was also established. All structural remains rested either directly on bedrock or on a culturally-sterile deposit.
At the conclusion of this excavation project, we are now better informed about the history of this site. It was a small rural sanctuary or shrine of the Punic and Roman periods. Originally consisting of a cave, the site was later turned into an enclosure (perhaps, partially roofed too) containing at least one structure, walls, and stone supports. This was an area where cultic activity of some sort took place until it fell into disuse and, later, turned into an agricultural field. However, analysis and studies of the material found will eventually shed more light on the site’s nature and its function.