Posts Tagged ‘Sharon Sultana’


    Jadeite amulet (Copyright - Heritage Malta - Daniel Cilia)Who knows whose neck the exotic jadeite amulet adorned? To reach the Maltese shores, this item travelled a very long distance in prehistoric times. Therefore, it must have been really treasured, raising the status of its owner. It is difficult to see a symbolic meaning in such an amulet, however, it was chosen to accompany an individual who was laid to rest at the Xagħra Circle in Gozo.

    We all know that person who would throw nothing away, and keeps mending an object till the very last. Well, it seems that such persons have existed since prehistoric times. A jar which was unearthed at Skorba Temples was drilled with pairs of holes above and below the crack to tie the two parts together with a long string. Who could tell whether these interventions served their purpose?

    Dagger from Ghar Mirdum (Copyright - Heritage Malta - Daniel Cilia)To whom did the elegant bone and copper dagger, that was discovered at Għar Mirdum in Dingli Cliffs, belong? Clearly designed for prestige rather than for defence, such a lovely object is unlikely to have been casually lost. So why was it left in this buried cave?

    Was the heavily pregnant female clay figure which was found at the Tarxien Temples, pierced in sixteen places with sharp fragments of shell, really intended to curse an opponent by magical means? And did the magic spell work?

    While the first clay figure of the Sleeping Lady that was found in the Hypogeum of Ħal Saflieni rested on its side, another one discovered at the same site, lies face down with her breasts hidden beneath her. If either or both these figures could come to life, they would tell us a great deal about what we should dearly like to know about themselves and their times, though we might have great difficulty in understanding what they had to say. What would it take to wake them up?

    Carinated bowl from the North Cave at Ggantija (Copyright - Heritage Malta - Daniel Cilia)Archaeological discoveries are not only made in main sites. Nearby locations could be as significant for further revelations. The remains of a carinated clay offering bowl was recovered during investigations in the North Cave at the megalithic site of Ġgantija. Decorated with coloured scratched volutes, this bowl must have been considered sacred enough so as not to be casually scattered. It would be so intriguing to know in which rituals it was used.

    These are only a few of the engaging narratives which form part of the collection of fifty artefacts in Heritage Malta’s latest publication “Malta’s Prehistoric Treasures”.

    Skillfully chosen from the National Collection by the renowned late archaeologist Dr. David Trump, the artefacts are intended to accompany the readers along a personal journey in Maltese prehistory which fascinated him so much.

    Book coverThis makes the book even more significant since the selected artefacts are not only allowing the readers to learn about the local prehistoric people but also to see through the eyes of a very inspirational archaeologist.

    The book has an additional narrative by Heritage Malta Senior Curator, Sharon Sultana.

    Photography and design by Daniel Cilia.

    Malta’s Prehistoric Treasures is available from Heritage Malta sites and museums.

    For more information, visit

    (This feature was published in The Times of Malta issued on 30th December 2019)

    2019.12.30 / no responses / Category: Times of Malta

  • With a salutation

    Il-qabar ta' Xu Huizhong.JPGGu Yanzhao.JPG

    Ic-cerimonja tal-5 t'April 2014.jpgQiu Guangling u Shi Qidong.JPG

    On 5th April 2014, representatives from the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Malta and a number of Chinese persons, together with some Maltese individuals, including Malta Minister of Finance, Edward Scicluna, Mayor of Santa Luċija, Frederick Cutajar, and members of the Malta-China Friendship Society, attended to a ceremony in respect of two Chinese workers who died in our country in 1979.

    These two workers formed part of a group of hundreds of Chinese workers who were sent by the Chinese government in order to assist Malta in the construction of Dock Number 6 or as it is popularly known as the Red China Dock. This took place according to an agreement between China and Malta in the 1970s, wherein China agreed to help our islands in order to strengthen our economy.

    The two Chinese workers who lost their life in Malta

    Unfortunately, Xu Huizhong, a Chinese engineer aged 47, lost his life tragically on the 16th March 1979 whilst he was assisting in the construction of the dock. He was honoured with the Medal of Honour of the Republic of Malta on the 23rd April 1979. On the other hand, engineer Gu Yanzhao, died of natural causes at the age of 46.

    These two Chinese workers were buried in Malta according to their relatives’ decision since in Chinese culture, it is believed that in order to rest in peace, these individuals had to be present on the same land when the project on which they were working was successfully finished. Moreover, they believed that in this way, they would continue to be remembered with respect by the Maltese people.

    In the words of Minister Scicluna, “There is no higher sign of friendship than to give your life in order to help another country.” And now that with these articles, I am getting much fonder of China and its people, I could not allow myself not to investigate more this story and all the narrative that I knew that I would discover…

    The ancient tradition of the Qingming Festival

    I started my exploration by visiting the tomb of these two Chinese workers which is located at the Addolorata cemetery. I took with me a colourful bunch of flowers as a sign of respect and love. However, when I arrived in front of these tombs, I realized that I had met another Chinese cultural aspect as unlike my bunch, all the flowers that were left on these tombs after the ceremony, were white and yellow. As soon as I returned home, I researched about this and I learnt that this was part of the ancient Chinese tradition known as Qingming Festival.

    In order to help me to understand better this concept, this week, I met Qiu Guangling and her assistant, Shi Qidong, at the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Malta. They informed me that this festival formed part of the 24 aspects of the Chinese lunar calendar wherein among the various celebrations, people celebrate the beginning of the Spring season and the rememberance of their dead ancestors. Some refer to this festival as Pure Brightness Day or Tomb-Sweeping Festival and this generally takes place around the 5th April.

    The legend of Jie Zitui

    Often, the Qingming Festival is associated with Jie Zitui who during the 7th century B.C. lived in the province of Shanxi. It is said that he was one of the few officials who followed Chong Er, the son of the Duke of Jin, when he had to leave due to severe restlessness in his country.

    Chong Er lived for 19 years in exile and his situation became so miserable that eventually everyone abandoned him, except for five individuals, including Jie Zitui. This official respected his leader so much that when Chong Er was dying of hunger, he cut a piece from his thigh and cooked it for him so that he could get back his strength.

    Finally, there came a time when Chong Er succeeded to win back his deserved throne and he returned to Jin as a leader. Together with him, he took those loyal officials who had remained with him through the worst time and he gave them the title of noblemen. Yet for some reason, Chong Er forgot Jie Zitui who now was an invalid due to the personal sacrifice that he had done for his master.

    Nonetheless, when Chong Er realized his mistake, he immediately went to Mian mountain in order to find Jie Zitui who had gone to live there with his mother. But Jie Zitui had discovered serenity in this natural refuge of the mountain environment and he did not want to leave it to return to the city. Therefore, although he was aware that Chong Er was looking for him, he remained hidden with the hope that his friend will eventually give up and leave him alone.
    Yet this did not take place, for Chong Er was so resilient to find him that he decided to set the mountain forest on fire in order to force his friend out of his hideout. The huge fire which was lit continued to burn for three days until all the mountain was burnt out. Alas, when the people of Chong Er went in to look for Jie Zitui, they found him burnt together with his mother.

    At these terrible news, Chong Er fell into miserable grief for what he had done and out of respect towards these two persons, he buried them at the foot of Mount Mian and changed its name to Jie. Moreover, he built a temple on it in honour of their memory.

    In order to remember this tragedy, he ordered that each year in those particular three days, nobody could light a fire in his house and only cold food could be eaten. This started the Hanshi or the Cold Food Festival.

    Then, around 300 years ago, during the Qing Dynasty, this festival was incorporated witin the Qingming Festival and this event was changed into a celebration of rememberance and sacrifice for the ancestors. Nowadays, the Cold Food Festival is celebrated a day before the Qingming and the activities continue for three whole days.

    Just like we do in November, when we visit our cemeteries in order to show respect towards our dead relatives, in China these activities take place in April. Indeed, during this festival, a lot of Chinese people gather into cemeteries wherein they clean the tombs, repaint the calligraphy on them, burn incense and leave white and yellow chrysanthemums which in Chinese culture symbolize sadness and grief. Furthermore, they offer food and drink to their dead, and relatives meet on the tombs or in the surrounding gardens in order to eat together.

    Yin House Feng Shui

    It is interesting to know that when one is choosing a place for burial in China, usually, Feng Shui experts are called according to an ancient tradition. The main aim of Yin House Feng Shui is to choose the correct site for burial so that the energy of the dead is turned into a positive one in order to bring luck to their families. In fact, Chinese people believe that if the dead are not allowed to rest in peace in a place which guarantees their serenity, their living relatives would incur dire consequences.

    The Imperial Tombs of China

    This principle regarding tombs originated when man created the concept of a soul and therefore introduced also the idea of a life after death. Therefore, along the years we can observe various transitions in tombs which serve as a mirror of the ideas of the society which made them. In fact, as time passed, we can notice that tombs became more refined until in the period of the greatest dynasties, the imperial tombs took the shape of whole temples in the belief that the leader could continue to enjoy the same beautiful environment that he was used to during his life even after death.

    The Mausoleum of Emperor Qin Shi Huang

    This mausoleum was constructed by the Emperor Qin Shi Huang in the 3rd century B.C. in order to serve as his tomb. This enormous building was one of the first structures which were built for this reason, wherein the surrounding environment was chosen appositely in order to offer the right ambience to the emperor after his death.

    According to ancient writers, originally, this mausoleum was around 120 metres high and its base was 2167 square metres. Many trees and plants were sown in the area in order to embellish the zone. A dike that was 10 metres high and 1400 metres wide was constructed to avoid inundation of the territory from the nearby rivers. Moreover, the course of the river that passed through the south of the mausoleum was altered and its new route led to Weihe river so that its waters would not be an obstacle.

    It is estimated that around 12.8 million cube metres of earth were used in order to build the foundation of the emperor’s tomb and those of nearby tombs in the same site, together with the construction of the dike and the manufacturing of the statues that were made to adorn the place. Meanwhile, a further 1.2 million cubic metres of earth were required to fabricate the emperor’s tomb. It is interesting to note that all this stone was cut from the quarries of Mount Ganquan which was located 200 km away from the site of this mausoleum!

    In the meantime, Emperor Qin Shi Huang ordered to put priceless artistic works of great skill in his tomb, including jewels made of gold and silver, artworks, writings, clothing and many more accessories. Finally, there was so much wealth in this mausoleum that it was too difficult to calculate how much time, work, material, money and lives it came to cost. Yet certainly, once the emperor died, he buried everything with him and without knowing, he conserved some of the best cultural treasures which were to be enjoyed by later generations.

    However, the emperor wanted more than this as an accompaniment to his voyage after death. In fact, in order to build this tomb, apart from the best tradesmen who were selected, its construction which involved many years, was done my many criminals, by farmers who had not paid the taxes and by slaves. Besides the emperor’s tomb, these were ordered to build another tomb that was located around 1400 metres away and finally all the criminals were buried in it once the emperor was dead. In fact, during archaeological excavations, an area of 1200 metre squared of human bones was unearthed.

    Ironically, though the emperor was preparing such a fantastic place for himself after death, he was terrified of death and he dedicated many years in search of the elixir of life in order to acquire the font of eternity. Since he was a cruel tyrant, there were several attempts on his life but he always succeeded to avoid getting killed. Until eventually luck left him when during one of his voyages, he swallowed some mercury pills which were supposed to prolong his life!

    Ultimately, Emperor Qin Shi Huang was so much hated by the people, that his dynasty ended soon after his death and his tomb was robbed and burnt more than once. Yet this mausoleum was so huge that in 1974, whilst some Chinese farmers were digging to construct a well, they came upon another part of this site which was still intact and everyone was surprised.

    A group of archaeologists was called in order to excavate this place and among the enormous and unique discoveries, they found also a whole army of terracotta soldiers which were accompanied by horses with carriages of actual size. Hundreds of such soldiers were found and each of them had individual faces with different characteristics. However, it is believed that there are around 8000 soldiers in all to be unearthed. Moreover, it seems that there are also 130 carriages with 520 horses, and 150 cavalry horses buried in this mausoleum.

    Each year, this discovery attracts thousands of tourists to this site and when some of these artifacts are exhibited in other countries, many people go to visit them. This fact was confirmed also by the Senior Curator of the Malta National Museum of Archaeology, Sharon Sultana, when in 2007 an exhibition with 81 artifacts from the mausoleum of Qin Shi Huang, consisting of 10 terracotta soldiers and 2 horses were displayed in this museum.

    Other traditions related to Qingming Festival

    Since this festival takes place during the beginning of Spring, this is the time when farmers start to plough and sow their fields. This is also a period when many beautiful flowers enhance the Chinese landscape and so part of these celebrations include also walks in the splendid countryside. These days offer also particular moments for young people to meet and many new love stories begin at this time. As a cheerful greeting to this new season, the sky is filled with numerous kites that are made with great skill and in various forms and so these days are also enriched with beautiful and positive memories.

    (This is a translation of an original article which was published in Maltese in the series PONT MAĊ-ĊINA (5th Part) in the newspaper Torċa dated 20th April 2014)

    2014.04.20 / no responses / Category: Torca - Features & Articles



    Xu Huizhong Gu Yanzhao


    Fil-5 t’April 2014, rappreżentanti mill-Ambaxxata taċ-Ċina f’Malta u numru oħra ta’ persuni Ċiniżi, ngħaqdu ma’ xi individwi Maltin, fosthom mal-Ministru tal-Finanzi, Edward Scicluna, mas-Sindku ta’ Santa Luċija, Frederick Cutajar u ma’ membri tal-Malta-China Friendship Society, sabiex jattendu għal ċerimonja ta’ tifkira taż-żewġ ħaddiema Ċiniżi li tilfu ħajjithom f’pajjiżna fl-1979. Dawn iż-żewġ ħaddiema kienu jiffurmaw parti minn mijiet ta’ Ċiniżi li ntbagħtu mill-gvern tagħhom f’pajjiżna, sabiex jgħinu fil-kostruzzjoni tad-Dry Dock numru 6, jew kif inhu magħruf illum, ir-Red China Dock. Dan sar wara ftehim fis-sebgħinijiet bejn iċ-Ċina u Malta, fejn iċ-Ċina qablet li tagħti daqqa t’id lill-gżejjer tagħna li kienu għadhom qed jirkupraw biex ikabbru l-ekonomija tagħhom.

    Iż-żewġ ħaddiema Ċiniżi li tilfu ħajjithom f’Malta

    Sfortunatament, Xu Huizhong, inġinier Ċiniż ta’ 47 sena, tilef ħajtu traġikament fis-16 ta’ Marzu 1979 waqt li kien qed jaqdi dmiru fil-bini tal-baċir. Huwa ġie onorat bil-Midalja Għall-Qadi tar-Repubblika fit-23 t’April 1979. Min-naħa l-oħra, l-inġinier Gu Yanzhao, miet b’kawża naturali fl-età ta’ 46 sena, waqt li hu wkoll kien qed jaħdem fl-istess baċir. Kienu l-familjari tagħhom stess li għażlu li dawn iż-żewġ ħaddiema jindifnu f’Malta sabiex b’hekk huma jsibu l-mistrieħ u l-paċi fil-pajjiż li ħadmu għalih. Il-familjari xtaqu wkoll li permezz ta’ din id-deċiżjoni, dawn l-għeżież tagħhom ikunu ‘preżenti’ meta l-proġett jitlesta u li l-quddiem, in-nies tal-lokal jibqgħu jiftakruhom b’rispett.

    Fi kliem il-Ministru Scicluna, “M’hemmx sinjal akbar ta’ ħbiberija minn dik li tagħti ħajtek biex tgħin lil pajjiż ieħor.” U hekk kif bħalissa, permezz ta’ dawn l-artikli, qiegħda kull ma mmur nersaq u ninġibed aktar lejn iċ-Ċina u lejn niesha, ma stajtx inħalli dan il-mument jgħaddi mingħajr ma nistħarreġ aktar din l-istorja u dak kollu li bsart li se ġġib magħha….

    It-tradizzjoni antika taċ-Qingming Festival

    Bdejt billi żort il-qabar ta’ dawn iż-żewġ ħaddiema Ċiniżi li jinsab fiċ-ċimiterju tal-Addolorata. Miegħi ħadt bukkett fjuri sabiħ ikkulurit biex nuri sinjal ta’ rispett u mħabba. Iżda hekk kif wasalt quddiem il-qabar, mill-ewwel intbaħt li kont erġajt missejt ma’ xi aspett ieħor tal-kultura Ċiniża, hekk kif il-fjuri kollha li kienu tħallew qabel waqt iċ-ċerimonja msemmija, kienu ta’ lewn abjad u isfar. Mort mill-ewwel lura d-dar sabiex nifhem aħjar x’kien qed jiġri u sibt li din il-funzjoni annwali kienet tagħmel parti minn tradizzjoni antika Ċiniża magħrufa bħala Qingming Festival.

    Sabiex jgħinuni nifhem aktar dan il-kunċett, din il-ġimgħa ltqajt ma’ Qiu Guangling u ma’ l-assistent tagħha, Shi Qidong, ġewwa l-Ambaxxata taċ-Ċina f’Malta. Huma infurmawni li dan il-festival jifforma parti mill-24 aspett tal-kalendarju lunari Ċiniż fejn fosthom matulu jiġu ċċelebrati l-bidu tar-Rebbiegħa, u t-tifkira tal-antenati u tal-mejtin. Hemm min jirreferi għal dan il-Festival bħala ‘Pure Brightness Day’ jew inkella ‘Tomb-Sweeping Festival’ u dan dejjem jaħbat madwar il-5 t’April.

    Il-leġġenda ta’ Jie Zitui

    Iċ-Qingming Festival sikwit jiġi assoċċjat ma’ Jie Zitui li fis-7 seklu Q.K. kien jgħix fil-provinċja ta’ Shanxi. Jingħad li hu kien wieħed mill-ftit uffiċċjali li segwa lill-Chong Er, it-tifel tad-Duka ta’ Jin, meta dan kellu jħalli l-pajjiż minħabba nkwiet kbir li nqala’. Chong Er għex għal 19 il-sena fl-eżilju u s-sitwazzjoni li kien jgħix fiha tant kienet miżerabbli, li finalment abbandunah kulħadd, apparti ħames individwi, fosthom Jie Zitui. Dan l-uffiċċjal tant kien jirrispetta lill-kap tiegħu li meta darba minnhom Chong Er kien qed imut bil-ġuħ, huwa qata’ parti minn kuxxtejh u sajjarhielu ħalli dan ikun jista’ jistejqer b’laħmu.

    Intant, ġie żmien meta Chong Er irnexxielu jerġa’ jirbaħ it-tron li kien jistħoqqlu u huwa reġa’ lura lejn Jin bħala mexxej. Miegħu huwa ħa lill-uffiċċjali li kienu baqgħu leali lejh fi żmien tant imwiegħer u lil dawn tahom it-titlu ta’ nobbli. Imma għal xi raġuni, huwa nesa lil Jie Zitui li ormaj kien invalidu minħabba s-sagrifiċċju li kien għamel għall-kap tiegħu. Madanakollu, Chong Er ma damx ma ntebaħ bl-iżball li għamel u għalhekk huwa erħilha lejn il-muntanja Mian biex ifittex lil Jie Zitui, fejn dan kien mar joqgħod m’ommu. Iżda Jie Zitui kien sab l-hena fir-rifuġju tan-natura tal-ambjent tal-muntanja u b’xejn ma ried imur lura lejn il-belt. Għaldaqstant huwa baqa’ mistoħbi bit-tama li Chong Er jaqta’ qalbu u jħallih fil-paċi. Imma dan ma kellux ikun għax meta l-mexxej baqa’ ma sabx lil ħabibu, huwa tant webbes rasu li ried isibu, li ordna li l-foresta tal-muntanja tingħata n-nar ħalli Jie Zitui jiġi sfurzat joħroġ mill-moħba tiegħu. In-nar dam jaqbad tliet ijiem sakemm inħarqet il-muntanja kollha u meta n-nies ta’ Chong Er marru jfittxu lil Jie Zitui, huma sabuh maħruq flimkien m’ommu. Chong Er iddispjaċih ferm għalli ġara u b’rispett lejn dawn iż-żewġ individwi, huwa difinhom ħdejn il-muntanja Mian li bidlilha isimha għal Jie, u fuqha huwa bena tempju għall-memorja tagħhom.

    Bħala tifkira ta’ din it-traġedja, huwa ordna wkoll li kull sena, proprju f’dawk it-tliet ijiem, ħadd ma seta’ jqabbad nar fid-dar, u l-ikel kellu jittiekel kiesaħ biss. Kien hawnhekk li ngħata l-bidu għal ‘Hanshi’ jew ‘Cold Food Festival’. Aktar tard, madwar 300 sena ilu, fi żmien id-Dinastija Qing, dan il-Festival twaħħad maċ-Qingming Festival u l-okkażjoni nbidlet f’waħda ta’ tikira u sagrifiċċju għall-antenati. Illum, il-‘Cold Food Festival’ jiġi ċċelebrat ġurnata qabel iċ-Qingming u l-attivitajiet jibqgħu sejrin għal tliet ijiem sħaħ.

    Hekk kif aħna nagħmlu fil-bidu ta’ Novembru, meta nżuru ċ-ċimiterji u nuru r-rispett tagħna lejn qrabatna mejtin, fiċ-Ċina dan isir fil-bidu t’April. Għadd kbir ta’ nies jinġabru fiċ-ċimiterji biex inaddfu l-oqbra, jiżbgħu mill-ġdid il-kalligrafija li jkollhom miktuba fuqhom, jixgħelu l-inċens, u jħallu kriżantemi bojod u sofor, liema fjuri fil-kultura Ċiniża jesprimu s-swied il-qalb u n-niket. Barra minn hekk, huma joffru wkoll xi ikel u xorb lill-mejtin tagħhom u wara l-familjari jinġabru fuq il-qabar stess jew fil-ġonna tal-madwar sabiex jieklu dan l-ikel flimkien.

    Yin House Feng Shui

    Ta’ min isemmi illi meta jiġi biex jintagħżel sit għad-dfin, fiċ-Ċina jitqabbdu esperti tal-Feng Shui, liema użanza tikkonsisti minn forom ta’ arti u xjenza antiki li nħolqu f’dan il-pajjiż madwar 3000 sena ilu. L-għan prinċipali tal-Yin House Feng Shui huwa illi permezz ta’ għażla għaqlija tal-art fejn jindifnu l-mejtin, l-enerġija tagħhom tiġi mibdula f’enerġija pożittiva sabiex din tiġi riflessa f’riżq għall-familjari. Infatti ċ-Ċiniżi jemmnu illi jekk il-mejtin ma jitħallewx jistrieħu fil-paċi f’post li jassiguralhom serenità, il-familjari l-ħajjin isofru l-konsegwenzi.

    L-oqbra imperjali taċ-Ċina

    Dan il-prinċipju dwar l-oqbra ra l-bidu tiegħu meta l-bniedem ħoloq il-kunċett tar-ruħ u b’hekk daħħal ukoll l-idea ta’ ħajja oħra wara din. Għalhekk matul is-snin insegwu diversi tibdiliet fl-oqbra u dawn iservu bħala mera tal-ideat tas-soċjetà li tkun sawwrithom. Aktar ma jgħaddi ż-żmien, l-oqbra bdew kull ma jmur jirraffinaw ruħhom sakemm fil-perjodu ta’ wħud mill-aktar dinastiji qawwija, l-oqbra imperjali ħadu s-sura ta’ tempji sħaħ bil-ħsieb li l-mexxej seta’ jgawdi l-istess ambjent li kien imdorri fih f’ħajtu, anki wara mewtu.

    Il-Musulew tal-imperatur Qin Shi Huang

    Dan il-musulew inbena mill-imperatur Qin Shi Huang fit-3 seklu Q.K. sabiex iservi bħala l-qabar tiegħu. Din il-binja enormi kienet waħda minn ta’ l-ewwel ta’ din ix-xorta, fejn l-ambjent tal-madwar intagħżel apposta sabiex joffri l-atmosfera ġusta għall-imperatur wara li jmut. Skont kittieba antiki, oriġinarjament, dan il-musulew kien madwar 120 metru għoli u l-bażi tiegħu kellha qies ta’ 2167 metru. Diversi siġar u pjanti ġew imħawwla fl-inħawi sabiex isebbħu l-post, filwaqt li nbena lqugħ għall-ilma b’għoli ta’ 10 metri u tul ta’ 1400 metru ħalli jiġi evitat li l-ilma tax-xmajjar li kienu fil-qrib jgħerrqu l-inħawi. Barra minn hekk, inbidel il-kors tax-xmara li kienet tagħti lejn in-nofsinhar ta’ dan il-musulew u minflok il-passaġġ tagħha ddawwar fix-xmara Weihe ħalli b’hekk ilmijietha ma jkunux ta’ ostaklu.

    Huwa stmat illi ntużaw madwar 12.8 miljun metru kubu ta’ art biex biha tissawwar l-art tal-qabar tal-imperatur u ta’ xi oqbra oħra fl-istess sit, flimkien mal-kostruzzjoni tal-ilqugħ tal-ilma u tal-istatwi li kellhom jitpoġġew fil-post. Barra minn hekk, kien hemm bżonn ukoll 1.2 miljun metru kubu ieħor ta’ art sabiex biha jinbena l-qabar tal-imperatur. Ta’ min isemmi illi dan il-ġebel kollu ġie maqtugħ minn barrieri fil-muntanja Ganquan li kienet tinsab 200 kilometru bogħod mis-sit tal-musulew!

    Għal ġewwa dan il-qabar, l-imperatur Qin Shi Huang, ordna li jitpoġġew ukoll xogħolijiet imprezzabbli artistiċi u ta’ sengħa mill-aqwa, fosthom ġojjelli maħduma mid-deheb u l-fidda, tpinġijiet, kitbiet, ħwejjeġ u drappijiet u għadd ta’ dekorazzjonijiet oħra. Finalment, tant kien hemm ġid ġewwa dan il-musulew li huwa diffiċli biex wieħed jikkalkula kemm dawn setgħu swew ħin, xogħol, ħajjiet, materjal u flejjes. Imma ċertament, hekk kif l-imperatur miet u difen kollox miegħu, huwa refa wirt kulturali mill-ifjen għall-ġenerazzjonijiet ta’ wara.

    Iżda l-imperatur ried aktar minn hekk bħala akkompanjament għall-vjaġġ tiegħu wara mewtu. Infatti biex inbena dan il-qabar, apparti li kienu ntagħżlu l-aqwa nies tas-sengħa, il-kostruzzjoni tiegħu li ħadet snin sħaħ, saret minn bosta kriminali, bdiewa li ma ħallsux it-taxxi, u skjavi. U flimkien mat-tiswir ta’ qabar l-imperatur, dawn kellhom jibnu wkoll qabar ieħor fuq art li kienet tinsab 1400 metru bogħod, li finalment laqgħet fiha lill-kriminali li ndifnu flimkien mal-imperatur mejjet. Infatti, waqt skavi arkeoloġiċi, instab li dan il-qabar kellu medda ta’ madwar 1,200 metru kwadru u li kien miżgħud bl-għadam uman.

    Ironikament, għalkemm kien qed ilesti post tant fantastiku għal wara mewtu, dan l-imperatur kien beżgħan ferm mill-mewt u għamel snin sħaħ ifittex il-famuż eliżir tal-ħajja sabiex jakkwista l-font tal-eternità. Minħabba li hu kien tirann krudili, saru diversi attentati fuq ħajtu imma dejjem irnexxielu jiskappaha. Sakemm darba xortih ħallietu u huwa miet waqt vjaġġ wara li bela’ xi pilloli tal-merkurju li suppost kellhom itawwlulu ħajtu!

    L-imperatur Qin Shi Huang tant kien mibgħud li wara mewtu, id-dinastija tiegħu ntemmet fi ftit taż-żmien u l-qabar tiegħu ġie misruq u maħruq aktar minn darba. Madanakollu, dan il-musulew tant kien massiċċ illi fis-sena 1974, waqt li xi bdiewa Ċiniżi kienu qed iħaffru bir, huma sfrundaw f’parti oħra li kienet għadha ma ġġarfitx u dak li nstab ħalla lil kulħadd mistagħġeb. Grupp ta’ arkeoloġisti ntbagħtu minnufih biex jiskavaw u jieħdu ħsieb is-sit fejn fost is-sejba enormi u unika, kien hemm armata kbira ta’ suldati tat-terrakotta akkumpanjati minn numru ta’ karrijiet biż-żwiemel, kollha b’daqs reali. Għalkemm instabu mijiet minn dawn is-suldati li kull wieħed ġie maħdum b’mod individwali u b’fattizzi u pożizzjonijiet differenti, huwa maħsub li b’kollox hemm madwar 8,000. Barra minn hekk, jidher li hemm ukoll 130 karru b’520 żiemel, u 150 żiemel tal-kavallerija midfuna f’dan il-musulew.

    Kull sena din is-sejba tiġbed eluf ta’ turisti lejn dan il-post. U kull meta tittella’ xi esebizzjoni f’pajjiżi oħra b’xi wħud minn dawn l-oġġetti li nstabu, din dejjem ikollha ħafna konkorrenza. Dan stqarritu wkoll il-Kuratriċi Anzjana tal-Mużew Nazzjonali tal-Arkeoloġija f’Malta, Sharon Sultana, meta fl-2007 f’pajjiżna ttelgħet esebizzjoni b’81 artifatt minn dan il-musulew tal-imperatur Qin Shi Huang, li fosthom kienu jinkludu 10 suldati tat-terrakotta u żewġt iżwiemel.

    Tradizzjonijiet oħra li jsiru waqt iċ-Qingming Festival

    Peress li dan il-festival jaħbat ukoll mal-bidu tar-Rebbiegħa, dan hu ż-żmien meta l-bdiewa jibdew jaħartu u jiżirgħu l-art tagħhom. Hu wkoll perjodu fejn diversi fjuri sbieħ jibdew isebbħu l-inħawi u għaldaqstant, parti miċ-ċelebrazzjoni tinkludi wkoll mixjiet fil-kampanja. Dan huwa wkoll mument fejn bosta żgħażagħ jiltaqgħu flimkien u bosta stejjer ġodda ta’ mħabba jibdew proprju f’dawn il-ġranet. Bħala tislima ferriħija għall-bidu ta’ dan l-istaġun ġdid, is-sema tintela’ b’għadd kbir ta’ manuċċi (jew tajr) maħdumin b’sengħa mill-aqwa u f’forom diversi u b’hekk dawn il-ġranet jiżżewqu anki b’memorji sbieħ u pożittivi.

    (Dan l-artiklu ġie ppubblikat fit-Torċa ta’ l-20 t’April 2014)

    2014.04.20 / no responses / Category: Torca - Features & Articles


    Hekk kif dil-ġimgħa attendejt għall-ftuħ tas-swali l-ġodda ta’ Żmien il-Bronż fil-Mużew Nazzjonali tal-Arkeoloġija fil-belt Valletta, ikkonfermajt li finalment il-poplu Malti jista’ jħossu kburi bil-livell attraenti u modern li ntlaħaq permezz ta’ dawn l-esebizzjonijiet arkeoloġiċi.

    Waqt introduzzjoni qasira li saret lill-pubbliku preżenti, il-Kuratriċi Prinċipali tal-Mużew, Sharon Sultana, tkellmet dwar il-proċess li sar biex dawn is-swaliDekorazzjonijiet tipiċi ta' Żmien il-Bronż ngħataw xeħta moderna, kreattiva u edukattiva. F’isem Heritage Malta hija rringrazzjat lir-rappreżentanti tal-Mediterranean Bank Plc li permezz tal-patroċinju tagħhom ġew integrati bosta attivitajiet interattivi li komplew jagħnu l-esperjenza unika tal-Mużew. Min-naħa tiegħu s-CEO tal-Mediterranean Bank Plc, Mark Watson, awgura suċċess lil dan il-proġett filwaqt li stqarr li dan kien mezz li bih il-Bank xtaq jagħti xi ħaġa lura lill-pajjiż li laqgħu fih.

    Preżenti wkoll għal dan il-ftuħ kien hemm l-arkeologu magħruf Dr David H Trump li għal bosta snin ħadem fuq diversi siti arkeoloġiċi f’Malta u Għawdex. Dr Trump fakkar kif fl-1954, huwa żar Malta għall-Kamra bir-rikostruzzjoni tal-cart rutsewwel darba sabiex jassisti lil John Evans fl-iskavi tal-Ġgantija, filwaqt li ħa l-opportunità biex isellem lil dan l-arkeologu li għadu kif ħalliena x-xahar li għadda. Finalment Dr Trump innifsu, bħala espert ta’ dan is-suġġett, dawwar lill-pubbliku mas-swali l-ġodda ta’ Żmien il-Bronż fejn anki ta xi spjegazzjonijiet dwar esebiti partikolari. Fosthom huwa talabna ninnutaw id-dekorazzjonijiet tipiċi fuq diversi esebiti bħal buqari u reċipjenti oħra. Partikolarment għal qalbu kienet bieqja li nkisret u ssewwiet fi Żmien il-Bronż. Spaga moderna kienet turi kif in-nies primittivi kienu ħaffru fl-għonq tal-bieqja biex sewwew il-fuħħar imkisser; ċertament ġest li jikkonferma l-linja li tgħaqqad bejn il-bniedem l-antik u dak modern ta’ llum. Impressjonanti ferm u żgur il-mimmi t’għajnejn Dr Trump hija sezzjoni magħmula minn rikostruzzjoni tar-raddi tar-roti (cart-ruts) li wieħed isib madwar il-gżejjer tagħna. Mgħottija taħt il-ħġieġ imma trasparenti biżżejjed biex wieħed jieħu l-impressjoni li hu miexi fuq l-art, il-viżitatur jista’ jinnota wkoll l-inserzjoni ta’ biċċiet ta’ fuħħar matul it-triq, sabiex tingħata aktar l-idea taż-żmien li qed nitkellmu dwaru.

    Naturalment is-swali l-ġodda ta’ Żmien il-Bronż iħaddnu fihom għadd kbir ta’ esebiti arkeoloġiċi ta’ dan il-perjodu. Informazzjoni dettaljata kemm bil-lingwaSwali ġodda ta' Żmien il-Bronż Maltija u kif ukoll b’dik Ingliża toffri spjegazjoni ċara u sempliċi tal-oġġetti esposti fil-vetrini varji. Mappa interattiva tal-gżejjer Maltin turi diversi siti ta’ Żmien il-Bronż u taqsamhom bejn sezzjonijiet ta’ fdalijiet arkeoloġiċi, postijiet ta’ abitazzjoni, biċċiet ta’ fuħħar, fdalijiet fl-għerien, fosos u dolmen. Partijiet mis-swali ġew diżinjati b’ambjent Malti li tassew jilqgħek filwaqt li f’kull kamra hemm ukoll numru ta’ oġġetti li n-nies jistgħu jimmanipulaw bħar-rikostruzzjoni tad-dolmen u l-menhir li wieħed jista’ jmiss u l-għodda tal-insiġ primittiva. Is-swali letteralment ikellmuk permezz ta’ numru ta’ dvds li jinsabu fuq il-post, fosthom filmati mill-arkivji tal-PBS li juru s-sejba ta’ Għar Mirdum.

    Żieda oħra attraenti mal-Mużew hija kamra ddedikata għat-tfal li jżuru dawn is-swali. Infatti fuq ħafna mwejjed u siġġijiet ikkuluriti, it-tfal jistgħu jaqrawKamra għat-tfal fil-Mużew Nazzjonali tal-Arkeoloġija numru ta’ kotba interessanti relatati mal-arkeoloġija jew inkella jimlew u jpinġu l-pakkett ta’ attivitajiet li jingħatalhom. Għal dawk it-tfal aktar kbar hemm ukoll xi kompjuters għad-dispożizzjoni tagħhom.

    Ma nistax ħlief nirrakkomanda lill-poplu Malti sabiex iżur dawn is-swali u jesperjenza hu wkoll il-kapaċità ta’ dawn l-esebiti li jeħduk lura eluf kbar ta’ snin u jlaqqgħuk ma’ wħud mill-ewwel nies li għexu fuq pajjiżna. Attendenza numeruża tagħmel ukoll kuraġġ lil dawn l-entitajiet biex ikomplu jipprovduna b’aktar swali ta’ dan il-livell professjonali.

    Il-Mużew Nazzjonali tal-Arkeoloġija jinsab fi Triq ir-Repubblika l-Belt u jiftaħ kuljum, appartiRikostruzzjoni ta' għodda tal-insiġ primittiva xi festi, mit-8:00am sas-7:00pm. Huwa faċilment aċċessibli fuq kull livell. Il-prezz tad-dħul huwa ta’ €5 għall-adulti, €3.50 għall-viżitaturi ta’ bejn it-12 u s-17-il sena u dawk il-fuq minn 60 sena, €2.50 għal tfal taħt it-12-il sena, filwaqt li t-tfal taħt il-5 snin jidħlu b’xejn.

    Il-Mużew Nazzjonali tal-Arkeoloġija huwa kollu kemm hu aċċessibli, b’lifts li jkopru kull sular. Żjara bla ħlas bi gwida tal-mużew issir darbtejn kuljum fl-10:00am u fit-3:00pm.Il-bieqja li ssewwiet mill-bniedem l-antik

    Il-Mużew Nazzjonali tal-Arkeoloġija huwa wieħed mill-mużewijiet u siti li għandha taħt il-kura tagħha Heritage Malta (

    (Nota: Dan l-artiklu ġie ppubblikat fit-Torċa tal-14 t’Awwissu 2011)

    2011.08.14 / 1 response / Category: Torca - Features & Articles


    L-ewwel darba li wrejt ix-xewqa li nsir arkeoloġista, l-adulti madwari tbissmu u għal darb’oħra fakkruni li xi darba hemm bżonn li nibda ngħix naqra fir-realtà. U infatti l-Sharon Sultanapressjoni tagħhom dawwritli triqti u għal diversi snin ħdimt f’bosta setturi oħra. Imma qalbi ma setgħetx tirrassenja ruħha u wara għoxrin sena sħaħ, kelli nċedi għall-emozzjonijiet tiegħi u finalment l-arkeoloġija qed nistudjaha tassew! Kultant lanqas inkun irrid nemmen illi fl-aħħar qed nagħmel dak li dejjem xtaqt u li fil-klassi nkun qed nisma’ jew niddiskuti proprju mal-arkeoloġisti li dejjem ammirajt. Madanakollu baqgħu jtambru f’moħħi t-twissijiet minn diversi individwi li bl-arkeoloġija f’Malta ma tasal qatt imkien. Għalhekk riċentement Dr. Nicholas Vella, wieħed mill-lekċerers tiegħi, laqqagħni ma’ Sharon Sultana, il-Kuratriċi Prinċipali tal-Mużew Nazzjonali tal-Arkeoloġija u permezz tagħha fhimt li jekk tassew tixtieq xi ħaġa, destinek tista’ taħdmu int…

    “Inizzjalment l-arkeoloġija daħlet f’ħajti b’mod pjuttost stramb. Flimkien ma’ sħabi kont tlajt napplika biex nidħol nistudja l-liġi fl-università. Imma waqt li kont qed nistenna fil-kju, ġiet f’idejja xi informazzjoni dwar il-kors tal-arkeoloġija li mill-ewwel affaxxinatni. Fil-fatt l-arkeoloġija kienet togħġobni ħafna imma mhux li kelli xi pjanijiet li għad naħdem f’dak il-qasam. Ma nafx x’tani dak il-ħin u daqstant baqgħu mbellħin il-ġenituri tiegħi meta mort lura d-dar u infurmajthom li mhux il-liġi kont ser nistudja imma l-arkeoloġija! Anki lili staqsewni x’mingħalija li kont beħsiebni nagħmel b’kors bħal dak? Imma jien weġibt li wara li niggradwa imbagħad nara.

    Meta iggradwajt fl-1995, il-Mużew Nazzjonali tal-Arkeoloġija ngħalaq temporanjament sabiex isirlu xi ristrutturar u kien hemm il-bżonn ta’ żewġ individwi biex jagħmlu stima tal-kundizzjoni tal-oġġetti liSejbiet mit-tempji ta' Hal-Tarxien kien hemm esposti fil-wirja permanenti. Kont intagħżilt flimkien ma’ persuna oħra biex naħdem għal perjodu ta’ tliet xhur fejn matulu tħarriġt ukoll kif nevalwa l-oġġetti. Eventwalment, tant morna tajjeb, li bqajna naħdmu għal tliet snin u nofs oħra fejn did-darba ngħatajna taħriġ fil-konservazzjoni bażika u aħna stess wettaqna l-konservazzjoni tal-oġġetti li kienu ser jiġu esebiti fil-wirja l-ġdida tal-mużew. Wara għamilt perjodu ta’ żmien ma naħdimx biex nieħu ħsieb it-tfal u anke ħdimt f’qasam ieħor għal erbgħa snin.

    Iżda darba minnhom waslet l-opportunità biex naħdem bħala assistenta tal-Kuratur tal-Arkeoloġija. U pass wara pass, illum għandi r-responsabbiltà ta’ Kuratriċi Prinċipali tal-Mużew Nazzjonali tal-Arkeoloġija.”

    Ikolli nistqarr li Sharon mill-ewwel laqtitni peress li l-idea li kelli ta’ kif ikun kuratur kienet kemmxejn differenti. Infatti sibt persuna ħelwa zokkor li ċertament apparti li tiġbdek lejha, tressqek ukoll b’aktar kunfidenza lejn il-mużew.

    “Kemm ilni kuratriċi, wieħed mill-iskopijiet tiegħi dejjem kien dak li nibdel l-attitudni tan-nies lejn il-mużew. Personalment nemmen li spiċċa dak iż-żmien meta lin-nies li jerqsu lejn il-mużew titlobhom biex iżommu s-silenzju u biex ma jmissu xejn. Minflok illum it-tendenza hija li wieħed jintegra mal-post li jkun fih sabiex finalment ikollu esperjenza sabiħa u ħajja u li jitgħallem xi ħaġa minnha.

    Huwa għalhekk illi minn żmien għal żmien it-tim tagħna joħroġ b’diversi ideat dwar kif min jiġi jżur dan il-post, iħossu kemm milqugħ u kif ukoll mgħarraf sewwa dwar dak li jkun qed jara. Biex nagħtikKopja ta' statwa - Muzew tal-Arkeologija Nazzjonali eżempju, fl-2009 id-direttur tal-Limestone Heritage Parks and Gardens irregala lill-mużew kopja eżatta ta’ waħda mill-istatwi li nstabet f’Ħaġar Qim, maħduma mill-ġebla franka. Din tpoġġiet quddiem l-istatwi oriġinali sabiex il-viżitaturi jkunu jistgħu jmissu dan il-mudell ħalli jiffamiljarizzaw ruħhom aktar ma’ kif tinħass l-istatwa proprja u kif inhi l-forma tagħha. Mudell bħal dan jgħin ukoll lil dawk neqsin mid-dawl biex jifhmu sewwa dwar xhiex inkunu qed nitkellmu meta nsemmu l-figuri ħoxnin pre-istoriċi.”

    Il-mużew innifsu huwa ġawhra arkitettonika. Inbena fl-1571 u kien jifforma parti mill-Berġja ta’ Provenzja li kienet tokkupa l-ispazju kollu fejn illum hemm diversi bini u ħwienet li jmissu mal-mużew.

    “Il-lok fejn hawn il-mużew kienet biss parti żgħira minn blokka kbira fejn il-kavallieri kellhom dak kollu li kellhom bżonn apparti r-residenza tagħhom. Saħansitra kellhom il-forn bil-furnara tagħhom Muchaġewwa l-bini. Il-ħsieb kien illi jekk jiġi l-bżonn li jinbarraw ruħhom għal xi żmien ġo din il-proprjetà huma jkunu awto-suffiċjenti. Wara l-kavallieri l-post ġie abitat minn diversi individwi u nqasam skont il-pjanijiet tagħhom. Tant hu hekk illi fi żmien l-Ingliżi dan il-post serva anki bħala lukanda u min jaf x’tibdiliet strutturali għadda minnhom! Fosthom dawn fetħu gallarija f’waħda mill-isbaħ kmamar magħrufa bħala l-Grand Salon ħalli fiha jorganizzaw il-ballijiet. Illum din is-sala tintuża biex nesebixxu fiha wirjiet temporanji u fil-fatt bħalissa qed issir l-esebizzjoni tal-artist Alphonse Mucha li għandha miftuħa sal-15 ta’ Mejju 2011. Kull min jiġi jżur dan il-post jifhem il-prestiġju tal-bini nnifsu apparti l-valur tal-kollezzjonijiet li jħaddan fih. Bosta li jaraw il-Grand Salon jistagħġbu bi ġmielha u dawk minnhom Maltin iħossuhom kburin li għandna wirt sabiħ bħal dan f’pajjiżna.

    Naturalment hemm ukoll l-iżvantaġġi li jkollok bini ta’ valur bħal dan. Peress li llum huwa skedat, mhux la kemm tagħmel xi tibdiliet fih. Barra minn hekk, peress li hu ma ġiex mibni għall-iskop ta’ mużew, irridu noqogħdu b’attenzjoni kbira għal x’nistgħu npoġġu fih. Ngħidu aħna meta konna qed nippjanaw x’nistgħu nesebixxu fis-swali l-ġodda tal-perjodu Ruman, inqalgħatilna diffikultà kbira minħabba li għandna ħafna fdalijiet goffi tal-irħam. Fil-fatt kellna nieħdu l-opinjoni tal-periti sabiex dawn jaraw x’toqol kapaċi jiflaħ post bħal dan. Fuq kollox, il-post hu li hu u ma tistax iżżid miegħu. Għalhekk ħafna drabi, akkost li nkunu nixtiequ nesebixxu ħafna iktar affarijiet, ikollna nilħqu kompromess.

    Forsi aktar il-quddiem jirnexxielna nirbħu aktar spazju meta nirristrutturaw is-sotterran tal-mużew. B’hekk, minn żmien għal żmien, inkunu nistgħu noħolqu esebizzjonijiet temporanji mill-bosta oġġetti li jinsabu fil-maħżen tagħna.”

    Wara li sarlu l-istrutturar meħtieġ il-Mużew Nazzjonali tal-Arkeoloġija reġa’ nfetaħ għall-pubbliku fl-1998 b’esebizzjonijiet tal-perjodu Neolitiku li jkopri mill-fażi magħrufaHal Tarxien - fdalijiet arkeologici originali bħala Ta’ Għar Dalam (5200 Q.K) sal-fażi ta’ Ħal-Tarxien (2500 Q.K). Iżda naturalment l-arkeoloġija ta’ Malta hija wisq aktar vasta u minn dejjem kien hemm ippjanat li jinfetħu aktar swali bi fdalijiet ta’ fażijiet u żminijiet oħra.

    “Peress illi Heritage Malta għandha bosta mużewijiet u lwogi x’tieħu ħsieb, il-finanzi jridu jitqassmu u allura huwa impossibbli li jsir kollox f’daqqa. Iżda issa wasal il-mument biex il-pubbliku li jżur lil dan il-mużew iktar tard din is-sena, ikun jista’ jara wkoll il-wirt arkeoloġiku tagħna taż-Żmien tal-Bronż u tal-Feniċi, kif ukoll dak Puniku, Ruman u Biżantin.”

    Sharon spjegatli kif sar il-proċess biex dawn is-swali jkunu jistgħu jinfetħu. Saħqet ukoll illi flimkien mat-tim magħmul minn ħaddiema ta’ Heritage Malta, bħal designers, maintenance team, projects office,  u ma’ numru ta’ esperti, sar ħafna xogħol biex l-esebizzjonijiet ikollhom sfond b’xeħta moderna, kreattiva u edukattiva, mogħni anki b’diversi attivitajiet li jħajru lill-viżitaturi biex jintegraw mal-post.

    “Ċertament irrid nirringrazzja wkoll lill-Mediterranean Bank li permezz tal-patroċinju tagħhom nistgħu nintegraw iktar affarijiet interattivi li qed ngħidlek dwarhom. Fostom f’kull kamra ser ikun hemm xi Muzew Nazzjonali tal-Arkeologijaħaġa partikolari li n-nies jistgħu jimmanipulaw; bħal ngħidu aħna f’kamra minnhom ser ikun hemm għodda tal-insiġ primittiva, ovvjament kif naħsbu li kienet, li biha min jixtieq, jista’ jinseġ xi biċċa żgħira ħalli jifhem aħjar dwar l-insiġ ta dawk iż-żminijiet. Barra minn hekk, sistema ta’ dvds ser ikunu qed juru u jispjegaw dwar siti arkeoloġiċi f’Malta, fosthom per eżempju ħa naraw lil Dr David H Trump, jispjega dwar il-cart ruts ta’ San Pawl tat-Tarġa. Dvd ieħor ser ikun dwar Għar Mirdum u dan ser jinkludi anki filmati antiki miġjuba mill-PBS li juru l-esplorazzjoni ta’ dan is-sit fejn instabu xi affarijiet ta’ Żmien il-Bronż. Apparti minn hekk dan id-dvd ser ikollu wkoll intervista ma’ wieħed minn dawk li dakinhar kienu niżlu fis-sit.

    Ovvjament ħsiebna kien ukoll iffukat fuq dak li nistgħu noffru lit-tfal, kemm dawk li jiġu jżuruna ma’ xi adulti oħra u kif ukoll dawk li jiġu ma’ tal-iskola. Għalihom qed nippreparaw pakkett ta’ attivitajiet li jistgħu jaħdmu waqt li jkunu qed iduru l-mużew. Biex nagħtik xi eżempju, ser ikollna bankijiet apposta li fihom it-tfal isibu affarijiet differenti bħal cushions jew xi trundle wheels. B’dawn tal-aħħar it-tfal ikunu jistgħu jivverifikaw il-qies ta’ xi affarijiet li għandna fil-mużew wara li aħna nkunu tlabnihom jaqtgħu kemm jaħsbu li huma kbar. Ser nuruhom ukoll kif ikejjlu l-piedi b’saqajhom u x-xiber b’idejhom. L-iskop hu li nedukaw b’mod informali u li nintegraw suġġetti varji, bħall-matematika f’dan il-każ. Qegħdin ukoll noħolqu bookmark b’pakkett żgħir magħha mimli biż-żerriegħa tal-qamħ u x-xgħir – żrieragħ li kienu jużaw anki l-ewwel nies – ħalli wara jmorru d-dar u jiżirgħuhom.”

    Nistqarr magħkom li qed inħossni fuq ix-xwiek biex nara dawn is-swali l-ġodda li ser jibdew jinfetħu ftit ftit għall-pubbliku minn Ġunju li ġej. Wieħed mill-aktar affarijiet li laqtuni kien is-sarkofagu Feniċju li huwa pjuttost differenti minn dawk Eġizzjani – fosthom is-swaba’ tas-saqajn evidenti u mirquma u l-għajnejn magħluqa fil-wiċċ tagħha. Dawn l-affarijiet bħalissa huma miżmuma fil-maħżen tal-mużew u qed jistennew bil-ħerqa sabiex jinħarġu ħalli n-nies tiġi tarahom.

    “Uħud minn dawn l-oġġetti kienu diġà jiffurmaw parti minn esebizzjoni li kien hemm qabel il-mużew ngħalaq biex jiġi ristrutturat. Iżda oħrajn għażilnihom individwalment minn ġo dan il-maħżen fejn Dr David H Trumphemm kaxxi fuq kaxxi bl-affarijiet, kollha jistennew li jsir xi xogħol fuqhom. Ovvjament kellna nagħmlu ħafna riċerka u ġibna anki xi esperti biex jgħinuna nagħżlu l-aktar oġġetti importanti bħal Prof. Anthony Bonanno li huwa espert fil-qasam Ruman, Dr. Nicholas Vella li huwa espert fil-qasam Feniċju u Dr David Trump li għena fuq il-perjodu ta’ żmien il-Bronż. Irreferejna wkoll ma’ ħafna kotba u permezz ta’ xi stampi, irnexxielna nillokalizzaw uħud mill-oġġetti li ma konniex nafu l-provenjenza tagħhom. Infatti permezz ta’ dan il-proġett, oġġetti li f’kotba letterarji kienu mmarkati bħala ‘mitlufa’, issa ikkonfermajna li qegħdin għandna fis-sigurtà ta’ dan il-maħżen.”

    Moħħi tar bħal berqa fuq il-films ta’ Indiana Jones u ftakart kemm ngħir għalih kull meta narah f’xi xena għaddej minn bejn il-kaxxi ta’ xi maħżen mimli fdalijiet arkeoloġiċi fejn fosthom isib l-arka ta’ Noe! Naħseb kont lesta li nħallasha lil din il-kuratriċi biex tħallini nittawwal naqra f’dan il-post imma Sharon assiguratni li hemm ġew mhux la kemm taqbad u tidħol. Kelli nirrassenja ruħ għax ma tistax tiġik tajba dejjem. Iżda minflok Sharon urietni xi kaxxi li kienu għadhom kif inħarġu mill-maħżen. Fihom kien hemm xi fdalijiet tal-fuħħar.

    “Dawn l-oġġetti qed jiġu kollha dokumentati permezz tal-għajnuna ta’ xi volontarji li qed jieħdu ritratt ta’ kull wieħed, iqisu d-daqs u t-toqol tiegħu, jirrekordjaw il-provenjenza u jinkludu anki l-ismijiet Arkeologija ta' Malta - 1924ta’ xi letteratura assoċċjata magħhom.  Wara, dawn l-oġġetti qed jiġu mgeżwra ġo karti apposta u merfugħa ġo kaxxi tal-plastik. Oriġinarjament ħafna mill-oġġetti fil-maħżen kienu mpoġġija f’kaxxi tal-injam li mhux proprjament l-aħjar materjal li tista’ terfa’ fih. Barra minn hekk sibna li ħafna minn dawn il-kaxxi kienu nofshom vojta u għalhekk permezz tal-kontenituri tal-plastik qed noħolqu wkoll ħafna aktar spazju fil-maħżen.”

    Biex donnha tpattili, urietni wkoll ktejjeb tal-magħruf Sir Themistocles Zammit li ħallini bla kliem. Għax dwar dan il-personaġġ ilni nisma’ sa minn ċkuniti u issa hemm quddiemi kont qed nara kitbietu u t-taħżiż tad-diżinji tiegħu li kienu juru xi dettalji dwar l-iskavi u s-sejbiet arkeoloġiċi tiegħu. Ma nafx nispjega l-faxxinu li nħoss lejn l-arkeoloġija u xi ħaġa bħal din tqanqalni ferm.

    “Dan hu biss wieħed mill-ħafna noti li għandna tiegħu. Tant huma mimlija b’dettalji li trid tarahom paġna paġna. Il-ħin biss huwa l-problema!”

    Sharon qaltli illi l-interess fl-arkeoloġija hawn Malta qiegħed kull dejjem jiżdied, għalkemm huma l-barranin li l-aktar li jfittxu lil dan il-mużew b’ħeġġa.

    “Meta kien hawn l-esebizzjoni tat-Terracotta Warriors li nġabu miċ-Ċina, hawnhekk kienu ġew ħafna Maltin. Ħafna minnhom żaru il-bqija tal-mużew bl-esebiti lokali waqt li kienu hawn. Ma nistax ninsa kemm nies ġew għandna jistqarru li ma kienux jafu li anki aħna l-Maltin kellna dik ir-rikkezza kollha fil-mużew!”

    Minn teżi li hi għamlet dwar il-frekwentazzjoni tal-Maltin f’dan il-mużew, ir-riżultati tal-istħarriġ tagħha ħasduha mhux ħażin.

    “Mill-istudju tiegħi ħarġu tliet fatturi: kien hemm dawk li qatt ma żaru mużew tal-ebda tip, dawk li żaru mużewijiet lokali oħra imma qatt ma ġew hawn u dawk li żaru mużewijiet oħra fosthom dan ukoll. Min-naħa l-oħra meta staqsejt lil dawk li qatt ma żaru l-mużew dwar ir-raġuni ta’ din l-għażla tagħhom kien hemm min qalli li jikkunsidra l-mużewijiet bħala postijiet li jdejjquh, oħrajn saħqu li ma jikkunsidrawx irwieħhom li huma ta’ livell ta’ edukazzjoni biżżejjed biex jifhmu x’hemm f’mużew, filwaqt li l-maġġor parti minnhom stqarru li għalkemm dawk lokali ma jżuruhomx, huma jżuru l-mużewijiet ta’ pajjiżi oħra meta jsiefru minħabba li xtaqu jkunu jafu aktar dwar il-kultura ta’ ħaddieħor!”

    Huwa dan li jħeġġeġ lil Sharon tkompli taħdem biex tipprova tbiddel din il-mentalita ta’ ħafna Maltin u tixtieq li jibdew japprezzaw il-kultura tagħna iktar. Ħaġ’oħra li Sharon kontinwament insistiet fuqha kienet illi tixtieq tneħħi għal kollox l-idea minn ċertu mħuħ illi n-nies pre-istoriċi kienu differenti ħafna minna jew li kienu jgħixu bħas-slavaġ.

    “Infatti meta ġieli nsib ruħi ndur ma’ xi viżitaturi, spiss naqbad ma’ xi esebit partikolari u nistaqsihom x’jaħsbu li hu u għal x’hiex jaħsbu li kien jintuża. Imbagħad wara noħroġ oġġett simili imma li nużaw Il-koppja mghannqa - Muzew tal-Arkeologija Nazzjonaliillum il-ġurnata, bħal ngħidu aħna kuċċarun, u hemm in-nies jifhmu xi rrid ngħid. Għax dawk il-biċċiet tal-fuħħar m’huma xejn ħlief l-għodda li dawn kienu jaħdmu bihom jew it-tazzi, il-buqari u l-platti tagħhom. Biex nurihom li mhux qed nitkellem dwar xi nies slavaġ imma sempliċiment dwar bnedmin li għexu eluf ta’ snin qabilna, inħobb niġbed l-attenzjoni fuq statwetta ċkejkna tal-fuħħar. Din turi koppja mgħannqa li bla dubju hija xempju tal-essenza tal-umanità ta’ dawn il-bnedmin. Kienu biss nies li għexu fi żmien ieħor u li ma kellhomx ir-riżorsi li għandna llum. Imma ċertament kienu nies li jħossu bħalna, li jħobbu bħalna, li kellhom ix-xewqat u l-ħolm tagħhom bħalna u li kellhom skop f’ħajjithom.”

    Meta staqsejt lil Sharon liema mill-oġġetti kollha li kien hemm fil-mużew li kienu l-aktar għal qalbha, l-għażla tagħha mill-ewwel waqgħet fuq din l-istatwetta ċkejkna u fuq statwa oħra li turi l-Mara Rieqda.

    “Kif qed tara l-istatwetta tal-koppja mgħannqa hija ċkejkna ferm u għalhekk faċilment tinqabeż f’din il-vetrina mdaqqsa u mdawwra b’tant oġġetti oħra. Nixtieq ħafna li xi darba nkun nista’ nagħżilhaIl-Mara Rieqda f’vetrina għaliha ħalli nagħtiha l-importanza li jixirqilha. Min-naħa l-oħra, l-istatwa tal-Mara Rieqda nixtieq nesebiha b’tali mod u manjiera li tkun esposta minn kullimkien minħabba li fuq in-naħa ta’ wara u anki n-naħa ta’ taħt tagħha hemm diżinji interessanti ferm.”

    Għal min għandu għal qalbu l-arkeoloġija bħali, il-kuratriċi spjegatli wkoll illi l-mużew jagħti l-opportunità lil dawk li jixtiequ jiddedikaw xi ftit mill-ħin liberu tagħhom biex jagħmlu xi xogħol volontarju f’dan il-mużew. Ix-xogħol li hemm x’isir huwa varju ħafna u għalhekk hemm xi ħaġa għal kulħadd.

    Il-Mużew Nazzjonali tal-Arkeoloġija jinsab fi Triq ir-Repubblika l-Belt u jiftaħ kuljum, apparti xi festi, mit-8:00am sas-7:00pm. Huwa faċilment aċċessibli fuq kull livell. Il-Mużew Nazzjonali tal-Arkeoloġija huwa wieħed mill-mużewijiet u siti li għandha taħt il-kura tagħha Heritage Malta (

    (Nota: Dan l-artiklu ġie ppubblikat fit-Torċa tal-10 t’April 2011)

    2011.04.10 / no responses / Category: Torca - Perspettivi