Five ‘columbaria’ have been re-discovered at the Cittadella in Gozo during works ongoing as part of the EU co-funded project for the Implementation of the Cittadella Masterplan Recommendations.

The columbaria were recorded by A.A. Caruana in his book ‘Ancient Pagan Tombs and Christian Cemeteries in the Islands of Malta’ published in 1898.

The features, which originally numbered around 100, were thought by Caruana to be tombs. These were discovered in 1859 when water reservoirs were being built in the Cittadella ditch.

Caruana recorded residue of ashes and charred bones in them, and they date at least to Roman times (about 2,000 years old). Investigations are going on to determine whether they were also used as silos for the storage of wheat.

The features will now be preserved and incorporated in the design of the project.