Archaeology Museum, Gozo
The museum illustrates chronologically the cultural history of the Island of Gozo from prehistoric times to the early modern period.
The Museum of Archaeology is located within the walls of the Citadel just behind the old gate. It is housed in a seventeenth century building, Palazzo Bondi, which originally served as a town hall where the Knights of St John used to receive their distinguished visitors. At one time, it was the residence of a prominent Gozitan family after whom the Palace is named.
In 1937, on the initiative of Sir Harry Luke, a former Lieutenant Governor of Malta, this town house in the Spanish Renaissance style was restored. In 1960, it was inaugurated as the first public museum in Gozo and exhibited archaeological as well as ethnographic artefacts. Following refurbishment, it was re-opened in 1986 as the Archaeology Museum of Gozo.
The ground floor is devoted to the Neolithic Period, the Temple Period, and the Bronze Age (5200–700BC) and houses a selection of decorated potsherds, pottery vessels, stone and bone implements and pendants from various settlements and tombs. There are also relics from Ggantija Temples. A multi-media installation gives you a complete reconstruction of the megalithic temple. The Bronze Age section displays a group of miniature clay containers and a decorated double-pot and some fragmented clay votive anchors.
The first floor is devoted to the Phoenician, Punic, Roman, Medieval, and Knights’ periods. The collections on display include jewellery, coins, marble statues, inscriptions, oil lamps, and part of a limestone olive-pipper. There is also a selection of funerary urns found in rock-cut tombs around Gozo, while the ‘Xlendi room’ houses artefacts from underwater wrecks of Classical antiquity recovered from the bay in 1961.
The collection also includes a number of inscriptions. The oldest was carved in Punic characters in the second century BC to commemorate the building and restoration of sanctuaries. Another interesting and touching inscription is that carved on Majmuna’s tombstone, which laments the death of a young Muslim girl at the age of twelve.