Prehistoric grave site opened to the public at Kercem

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Relics-Kercem-prehistoric-graves.JPGA site that was recently found to have the remains of prehistoric graves was opened for viewing by Giovanna Debono, the Minister for Gozo. The opening ceremony was part of an evening that inaugurated this years edition of “Is-Sagra Ta’ San Girgor.” The evening included a concert of Gregorian singing, along with an informative presentation of the discovery of the site and on the historical importance relating to it. For this occasion, tools and human remains found in two prehistoric tombs were displayed publicly for the first time items.

Speaking about the occasion, the Minister, Giovanna Debono, said that this finding adds to the value of the prehistoric heritage of the island of Gozo and will join with those found earlier from the Ggantija Temples and the Brockdorff Circle. She also referred to how different entities can collaborate together in aid of the protection of historical heritage. The Ministry for Gozo was able to coordinate work with entities such as Cultural Heritage, Heritage Malta, Gozo Heritage, and other entities in order to preserve or restore sites of historic heritage.

These tombs of national importance were found in 2008, when development was underway for the extension of the parish house of Kercem. Over the past year, the graves were excavated scientifically by Cultural Heritage under the direction of the Superintendent, Anthony Pace. The site at Kercem consists of two graves, and a small room.

Cultural Heritage expects to make scientific studies on the relics including a radiocarbon study to determine exactly the age of the findings as well as studies of DNA, amongst others.. It will also make a study of the bones found to determine the individual age of each skeleton, as well as pathological indications that they might have.

Plans have also been coordinated for the future to enable the site to be made a permanent museum, so that this attraction, which is very rare discovery, can be enjoyed by the public.

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