Copyright The Malta Historical Society, 2005.

Source: Melita Historica. [Published by the Malta Historical Society]. 4(1965)2(145)

[p.145] The Malta Underwater Archaeological Research Group

We publish an extract from a letter sent to us by Chev. S.A. Scicluna, General Secretary of the Malta Underwater Archaeological Branch.

The Team of Maltese Underwater Experts under Chev. S.A. Scicluua is composed of Mr. Wilfrid Pirotta, Vincent Micallef De Cesare, Joe Pace, John Cassar, John Bondin.

In view of the 4th Century Celebrations in commemoration of the Great Siege of 1565, a general survey for the possibilities of locating relics belonging to the Siege, are going to be carried out round Senglea, Birgu, and Cospicua.

For the 3rd time work is going to be continued on the Xlendi Bay Wrecks, Marsalforn, and other parts of Gozo.

In January 1965 the long and minute work of mapping the Maltese Coastal seabed has been completed by the Malta underwater Group, and every find have been: studied for the possibility of any relation or connection with known historical landmarks, tradition or legend. This work took nearly six years to complete, and a copy of the Chart is going to be released in colour by the Missione Archeologica Italiana a Malta.

To further studies in the knowledge of the behaviour of local wrecks in relation .to underwater currents, the Malta is going to start a general survey for several wrecks.

Records pinpointing the site, date, Captain and cargo of these wrecks are in the archives of the Branch, and their depths are in the reach of the Maltese divers. One of the wrecks have already been located by the group in 1964, and have greatly improved the scientific approach of the branch in searching for classical wrecks without disturbing and spoiling the site. It is important to note that it is the policy of the Malta Branch that the site of a wreck before it is probed for relics and excavated, every possible historical connection with the wreck, books traditions and old maps are before consulted. This policy have given good results. A name of a place on the Gozo Map have yielded a Hellenistic Marble Head and a Bronze Leg part of a statue of a very fine workmanship. These were presented by the Branch to the Gozo Museum. An axe handle in the possession of a 60 year old farmer has resulted in the finding of two wrecks in Marku Bay. But the greatest achievement of the branch so far was a passage from the Gozitan Historian De Soldanis which was the means of finding the Xlendi Bay Roman Wrecks.

Chev. Scicluna on behalf of the Malta Underwater Archaeological Branch of "The International Institute of Mediterranean Archaeology'" would' like to thank .the Minister of Education, The Director and Curator of Archaeology of the Malta National Museum, the Librarian Malta Public Library, the Officers of the Mediterranean Fleet Clearance Mr. W. Wickman, and the General Public specially those who on boats and speedboats have kept their distance from the diving flag while diving was carried out last year.