Saturday, May 28, 2011

Tas Silg

Tas Silg is a very important, and hardly explored, archeological site in Malta. It has religious structures from the neolithic temple builders to the Phoenicians, to the Punic, to Roman to paleoChristian. The site is on the southern coast of the Island, but in ancient days, one would have been able to see the 12 km to what is now Mdina and Rabat and was, until the time of the Knights, the capital. Italian excavators found shards with inscriptions to Phon./Punic goddess Ashtarte, probably dating to 8th C BCE. Most of the remains are 1st C BC Roman.

Yesterday I was allowed to go with a group of archeology students and their professor to the site, which is not currently open. While we could not wander it, here are some photos. Some I managed with my telephoto lens. The first is from a road that cuts through the site (road built at least by the Knights). The photo with the reddish-brown dotted with white is the remains of a floor. The red is crushed pottery, with white marble tesserae (I don't think I spelled that last word correctly) inserted. The last is a general view of part of the site.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Glow worm

For two nights, there had been a green light by my door. The second night I got my flashlight and decided it was some kind of grub. I happened to be having coffee with a very expert ecologist of Malta and asked what creatures lit up. He said either a beetle or larvae of beetles. We drew pictures for each other and he, after giving the Latin and Maltese names for the creature (neither of which I recall), said it was a glow worm. He noted that they were an indicator of clean air. I said my place was surrounded mostly by fields that hadn't recently been plowed and by some trees. So, the dustiness that comes from the winds, traffic, and building/quarrying was less intense. Anyway, I managed to take a photo last night that at least shows the bright glow.