Watch: MTA sponsors archaeological exploration of Phoenician wreck off Xlendi

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The Malta Tourism Authority has extended a sponsorship agreement with the University of Malta’s Department of Classics and Archaeology to continue its study of a 2,700-year-old merchant vessel which sunk off the coast of Xlendi.

Project director Timmy Gambin explained that the wreck was discovered in 2007 at a depth of 110 metres, during an exploration of any cultural heritage that may be found in the seabed. Since then, the project team has excavated the site, which has proven to be one of the most notable discoveries it has made in recent years.

Gambin said that the remains helped shed light on the economic history and the trade links of the Mediterranean region in the Archaic period.

So far, the MTA’s sponsorship has amounted to €90,000, and has helped to fund underwater footage, diving expeditions, restoration efforts and various tests.

The MTA has also reached an agreement with Google Arts and Culture which will give the general public the opportunity to tour the shipwreck virtually. Many Maltese heritage sites can already be visited virtually through Google Arts and Culture, following an agreement reached with Heritage Malta.