Some 112 cultural heritage discoveries were made last year, including the discovery of a well-preserved cistern in Żurrieq and parts of the Wignacourt Aqueduct, the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage said in its annual report.
Of these discoveries, 35 were related to agricultural features, 18 to water storage and water management, while seven discoveries of pottery fragments were also made.
Parts of the Wignacourt Aqueduct were discovered on a construction site during works in Attard. The SCH had already identified the site as having been within the known documented trajectory of the aqueduct, which was still visible in a 1968 survey sheet. The risk of uncovering some of the remains had in fact already been identified during the application stage of the development.
After the shallow soil layer was removed from the site a tract of the aqueduct, partially in very poor condition and parts of which in better condition, were discovered. The superintendence added that the parts of the discovered aqueduct were preserved on-site and integrated within the development.
Other significant discoveries made last year include a water catchment system in Marsacala, a large cistern with a double vaulted roof in Żurrieq, a number of classical features including ashlar masonry, an ancient road and cart ruts in Ta’ Qali, rock-cut and structural remains in Valletta, as well as silo pits in Rabat, Żejtun and Kirkop.
"The superintendence received nine new scheduling requests last year, two of which were granted, six which remain pending and one is in the process of being granted"
The SCH also embarked on a number of ongoing archaeological projects, including fieldwork at the Xagħra Circle in Gozo. This included documentation and excavation of human remains, which are being assessed for long-term conservation procedures.
Excavation works also continued as part of a long-term project at the Roman Domus in Rabat, which opened up exploratory trenches in that allowed the identification of new unrecorded features on the site.
Works were carried out on the remains of a Roman rural establishment site at il-Marsini in Marsaxlokk and an exploratory project took place to determine whether there were human settlements at Latnija cave in Mellieħa.
The superintendence received nine new scheduling requests last year, two of which were granted, six which remain pending and one is in the process of being granted.
The two granted requests were for Palazzina Vincenti in St Julian’s and for the water tower at the Marsa abattoir, both of which were granted Grade 1 scheduling.