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The Phoenician Shipwreck near Gozo is a significant archaeological site, representing a crucial piece of maritime history. Discovered in 2007 off the coast of Xlendi Bay in Gozo, this wreck lies at a depth of 110 meters and dates back to the 7th century BC, making it around 2700 years old.

Key Features of the Phoenician Shipwreck:


The wreck was identified during a sonar survey as part of an offshore remote sensing project to map Malta’s Underwater Cultural Heritage.

Archaeological Significance:

It is notable for being the first ever archaeological excavation by divers beyond 100 meters. The site consists of a well-preserved mixed cargo, including stone and ceramic objects. This cargo provides valuable insights into the economic history and trade networks of the Central Mediterranean during the Archaic period.

Cargo Details:

The cargo is particularly remarkable, including various objects like grinding stones (saddle querns) and amphorae. Interestingly, the grinding stones, made from volcanic rock sourced from Pantelleria, were found in pristine condition, suggesting they were new and intended for trade.

Exploration and Study:

The site has been extensively studied using modern techniques like 3D photogrammetric imaging. Divers from the University of Malta and other international partners have conducted detailed surveys and recovered artifacts, offering a glimpse into the Phoenician trade practices.

Conservation Efforts:

Discussions have been held regarding the potential lifting of the shipwreck for exhibition at a museum or leaving it in place as an underwater tourist attraction.

Diving Conditions:

Due to its depth, diving to the Phoenician Shipwreck is a technical endeavor, requiring specialized skills and equipment. It’s not a site available for public diving.

The Phoenician Shipwreck off Xlendi Bay in Gozo is a unique and precious archaeological resource, shedding light on ancient trade networks and practices. Its age and diverse cargo make it an extraordinary find in the field of underwater archaeology.


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