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Cistern found to have been ancient tomb
Studies at Limestone Heritage, the museum/park which traces the use of stone in Malta, have confirmed that a bell-shaped cistern in the Siggiewi quarry where the museum is located, is an ancient tomb of Punic or Roman origin.
The studies were conducted by Dr Nicholas Vella, Senior Lecturer in Archaeology at the Department of Classics and Archaeology of the University of Malta.
Entrance into the tomb is now through one of its two burial chambers but in antiquity the tomb was reached from the fields above, down a deep shaft. In later years, the shaft was refashioned into a bell-shaped cistern to collect rainwater.
The tomb was cut into the soft limestone that outcrops in this area. The 2.30 metre-deep shaft would probably have been rectangular with footholds dug on the side to allow the funeral undertaker to descend to its bottom.
Two burial chambers, one opposite the other, are found at the bottom of the shaft. They are small rooms, roughly rectangular in shape, entered through low arched doorways.