Harsien Patrimonju Mosti


Tentative Projection of Roman Port of Burmarrad (1)

Mosta once overlooked the sea and Roman Port situated at Burmarrad. 
The low flat ground underlying the natural fault was mainly an estuary resulting from the Wied il-Ghasel major valley system, and other valleys such as those of Ghajn Rihana and Qannotta, with marshland connecting  to the sea which then reached far deeper inland.

Archaeological evidence suggests that this was once an important Roman Port. Traces of Roman structures, the presence of catacombs, tombs and other ruins may hence be found in the immediate proximity and all the way to Melite, (Mdina). 

At Salina one can still see a small segment of the Roman quay, and several seafaring artefacts have been discovered in the sea. A concentration of items has been documented outside the bay and both Punic and Roman anchors have been recovered from the area.

Roman Anchor at the Malta Maritime Museum (2)

On land, ample evidence defines a large and prosperous settlement comprising Melita (Mdina), the Rabat area, and large tracts of Malta's North, ranging to the tip of the island overlooking Cirkewwa.
Despite the former majesty of these Roman structures, very little has survived the ravages of time.

Of note is the Domus in Rabat and baths at Ghajn Tuffieha.
Baths have also been found at Xemixja, in the proximity of a Roman road, apiaries and tombs. Other apiaries have been documented at Mistra,
l-Imgiebah and Rdum il-Qammieh.

Rabat Domus Mosaic - Baths at Xemxija / Mistra - Ghajn Tuffieha Baths Mosaic

Getting closer to Mosta, traces of several buildings including villas, farms, and temples have been mapped at San Pawl Milqi, Burmarrad, Wardija, Bidnija, Falka Gap / Dwejra, and Mtarfa.

An abundant scatter of burial sites may also be found in and around Mosta, including the largest catacombs outside the Mdina / Rabat confines. To read more about these sites, kindly access the links below



 Notes & References
(1). Tentative projection of what the harbour would have looked like in Roman times is not to be taken as any definitive plan of the actual coastline. 
(2). Photo: Marie-Lan Nguyen, Wikipedia Commons