The Malta Independent 17 January 2020, Friday

Roman tombs and catacombs: only chance to see discovery at Rabat’s St Paul’s Missionary School

Sunday, 27 November 2016, 08:30 Last update: about 4 years ago

Today, for one day only, the public is being invited to view the discovery of the Roman tombs and catacombs discovered at St Paul’s Missionary School in Rabat.

Visitors can view the newly discovered Roman tombs and catacombs that were unearthed when development work was being carried out at the school.

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This will be a unique opportunity to see the place before development continues and the site is sealed and covered for conservation.

The tombs’ discovery is not all that surprising since they are located right next to St Paul’s and St Agatha’s catacombs.  On the other hand, it was remarkable that some of these tombs contained preserved remains that have been undisturbed since Roman times.

The Superintendence of Cultural Heritage has been excavating the tombs for the past few weeks, and an archaeologist and osteologist have even found intact skeletons of adults and children from the Roman period, along with a large amount of intact pottery vessels and other delicate objects that were placed with the dead at the time of their burial.

During the open day, some of these objects and human bones that were collected from the tombs will be on display. Superintendence officials will guide the public around the site and explain the objects that were discovered and how they are treated and studied.

A conservator and an osteologist will also be present to discuss with and show the public how they conserve and study the objects.

The open day is being organized by the Rector of the school, Fr Silvio Bezzina, in collaboration with the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage and ECA consultants.

The Open Day is being held between 11am and 4pm.

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