The Tal-Wej area, a patch of green land between Naxxar and Mosta that is home to a number of archaeological sites, is in need of some care from the Maltese authorities and any owners concerned.
The area is popular among the residents of Mosta and Naxxar, especially dog-owners, who can frequently be seen walking and playing with their four-legged friends in the evenings. The area is a piece of countryside squashed between the boundaries of Naxxar and Mosta, in the middle of a concrete jungle.
The outskirts of this otherwise pristine piece of land do, however, show signs of dumping.
Some piles of construction waste can be seen when entering the green area from the Mosta side and while some of these piles have been there for so long that plants have grown out of them, others are blatantly new. Old rusted metal beams are also visible, as are flattened barrels.
A small open building in the area also contained a few used syringes – an indication that the area has been used by drug users.
Walking slightly further in, however, the area is still near pristine. Following the footpaths allows one to briefly forget the hustle and bustle of everyday town life. However, from this piece of land one truly realises the lack of uniformity, finesse and foresight displayed by the Planning Authority and its predecessors over the years, when it comes to control over the design of residences in the overall context of the areas, with one building design, or one area, clashing with the next.
The area also features a number of archaeological sites. The Planning Authority’s website states that the Tal-Wej area is of archaeological importance: “Tal-Wej is a rich cultural landscape in which a large number of archaeological and architectural features dating to different time periods overlap to form a common cultural landscape.”
Among these archaeological sites are a number of classical tombs littered across the different fields, ancient quarries, cart ruts, rock-cut trenches, Ashlar blocks and more. Anyone can see that such sites have historical value – although no one would know what that value may be as there are no informative signs whatsoever. In addition, what one assumes to be classical tombs are, for example, filled with weeds and some even contain rubbish. Essentially, the sites are just not looked after.
The area is also home to some Dolmen remains, according to the Planning Authority’s website. While there is a rubble wall around them, and the immediate vicinity is clean, walking a bit further on is a small pile of construction waste.
Residents talking to this newsroom said that, over the years, they have removed waste, rocks and weeds from what they believe are tombs. In one instance, they even used some stones to build a small makeshift rubble wall around one of them so that nobody would throw anything in. All the rocks ended up inside the tomb, however, with residents coming to the conclusion that they had been kicked in. Some local residents have also taken it upon themselves to clear any litter they find while on their walks.
A resident talking to The Malta Independent on Sunday said that he had been coming to the area since he was a child and, over the years, he has noted illegal dumping. He mentioned the lack of understanding regarding the historical significance of the area.
The ideal situation, he said, would be for the area to be completely closed off to automobiles and for the area to become better known for its historical significance, while stressing the need for more protection of the historical sites.
Photos by Luke Zerafa
Original article found on The Malta Independent