The floor of a temple dating back to prehistoric times was uncovered in ongoing excavation works at Tas-Silġ, the Culture Ministry said.

In a statement, it said the 2,000-year-old floor of the Temple of Ashtart was uncovered in a 'farmhouse' with various remains at the site. 

The removal of the farmhouse floors have uncovered a series of floors and
preparation layers, the ministry said.

"The site at Tas-Silg contains the remains of over 4,000 years of structures, most of which were used for religious purposes," Culture Minister Owen Bonnici said. 

The Temple of Ashtart was made famous by Roman senator and orator Cicero when made reference to it in a prosecution speech against Caius Verres. 

Along the years, both the Missione Archeologica a Malta and the Department of Classics and Archaeology of the University of Malta have conducted extensive excavations at this site.

A 'farmhouse' located on the site is being restored and will be turned into a visitor centre equipped with digital interpretations. 

These excavations are being carried out in collaboration with the Department of Classics and Archaeology of the University of Malta, which is utilising this dig to train its students in archaeological practices. Close collaboration is also held on this and other digs with the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage.

This project is just the first step in a long-term plan that Heritage Malta is currently implementing for the site. This includes the finalising of a management plan, and a conservation plan.

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