At least five ancient round towers have survived in various degrees of preservation on the island of Malta, with most of them lying in the area of Żurrieq, Mqabba and Ħal Safi. The function of these towers is still a matter of debate especially since it is not clear whether they formed part of a defensive system.
Heritage Malta has launched the new exhibition ‘Ta’ Ġawhar Tower – Gold, Bread and Fire’ which focuses on one of these towers, known as Ta’ Ġawhar. This tower is located on a stretch of land between Ħal Safi and Ħal Far.
In 1960, Ta’ Ġawhar Tower was excavated by the renowned archaeologist David Trump. In his notes, he reported that the circular tower was constructed with massive square blocks and its diameter was approximately 16 metres. Many signs of burning indicated that the tower was destroyed by a fire which seems to have taken place around 300 AD, after which it was completely abandoned.
The few artefacts which have been discovered on site during this excavation seem to reflect a hurried escape from this place. These artefacts included a small earring of gold wire, two small bronze buckets, one within the other, an iron double bladed axe, a bronze coin, a jar neck with a potter’s mark, sherds of a large imitation Samian platter, and a carbonised item which appeared to be a part of a bread roll.
The exhibition shows how the excavations were carried out at this intriguing site, what was discovered, and what is known about the site’s beginning and end. Visitors will also be able to learn about the new studies which are currently under way by Heritage Malta in an attempt to enhance further the knowledge about this site and the archaeological potential within it and its artefacts.
The exhibition is located at the National Museum of Archaeology, Valletta, and will remain open to the public till the 28th September 2019.
Admission is free of charge.