Remains that may have archaeological importance have been discovered during excavation works at Sannat square, raising fears that the completion of the project may be delayed.
The remains were first highlighted by Gozo Minister Clint Camilleri, who said works on the regeneration of Santa Margerita Square now face “big challenges.”
Sannat mayor Philip Vella confirmed the findings and said that archaeologists and the superintendent of cultural heritage are investigating the discovery to understand what the remains are and which era they date back to.
They believe some of the remains are of an old reservoir. The structure has arches and is located right underneath the stairs of the parish parvis.
“I am happy about these discoveries as they are quite interesting and no one knew anything about them,” Vella told Times of Malta.
The discoveries were made last week while excavation works were being carried out for a shallow service culvert running from one side of the square to the other.
“Though we have no indication of what era the remains date back to, there is an indication that a tunnel was excavated during the period when the square began to grow,” he said.
“This is because a ħorża (well cover) was in the middle of the square and, therefore, they dug a tunnel to put it on the side to avoid danger.”
People in the locality have grown curious about the discoveries, with the mayor receiving calls from residents asking what the remains are and what will happen to them.
Despite the excitement, he called for people to be cautious.
“It is important that people do not go next to the remains. This is a construction site and we do not wish for anyone to get hurt trying to explore underground,” he said.
The €3.7 million regeneration project of the square will now continue in certain areas but the part where the remains were discovered will be protected for the time being.
The project includes the construction of storm culverts, new paving surfaces, pedestrian areas and parking arrangements, along with new lighting systems.
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