As part of their commitment to support the conservation of Maltese Cultural Heritage, the Melita Foundation has donated 15,000 euro to Heritage Malta to assist with the Olea project.
The generous sponsorship will contribute towards an extended Ground Penetrating Radar and the ongoing carbon-dating of an olive grove in Bidnija. The Olea project is a large-scale archaeological project that will investigate two main research areas within this site.
Ambjent Malta and Heritage Malta have been collaborating closely to ensure the protection and upkeep of the olive grove, which falls under the Trees and Woodlands Protection Regulations (2011), and the additional protection that the site receives from it being a scheduled Tree Protection Area, Area of Ecological Importance and Site of Scientific Importance. The project involves studying, preserving, and propagating around 20 olive trees reputed to date to the medieval period, if not earlier.
The area where the grove is located is also of archaeological importance given the remains of a possible rustic villa from the Roman period where oil used to be worked. In fact, in 2020, another agreement was signed, between Heritage Malta, the University of Malta, and the Superintendence for Cultural Heritage, in order for the three entities to work together for the investigation and eventual conservation of the cultural heritage of this site.
Heritage Malta is very grateful to Melita Foundation for this intervention and looks forward to future collaborations.