Villa Ta' Kaccatura
The Roman Villa known as Ta' Kaccatura. This villa is an example of Roman Rustic Villa since it is situated in the countryside. This site is perhaps one of the lesser known Roman sites in the Maltese Islands. The site is situated on a ridge of land flanked by two valleys: Wied Dalam and Wied Has-Saptan.
Opposite this site lies a very important prehistoric site in Malta -- the cave of Ghar Dalam--where the first evidence of human habitation in Malta was discovered.
This Roman Villa was completely buried until about the 19th century. It is smaller than most villas for example the one at San Pawl Milqi. In 1915 Thomas Ashby & Temi Zammit finally excavated the site. It appears to have been constructed in the early roman period , but the remains of other buildings show a building technique called opus africarum which is actually related to Phoenician and Punic structures found Carthage & Motya.
The Phoenicians were the people who colonized Malta prior to the Romans. The other structures of this villa were built using Globigerina Limestone, a local stone that has been widely used in the building industry up to the present day.
Evidence of a staircase suggests that this villa once had an upper floor. On the western side of the villa, the archaeologists found the remains of presses, channels n rock-cut storage pits that are associated with olive pressing.
An interesting feature of this site is a massive underground water cistern supported by pilasters of square stone blocks. The cistern used to be roofed completely by roof slabs. However, some of these have now collapsed. The presence of this large cistern highlights the preoccupation with the collection and storage of water by the local inhabitants.
It is unfortunate that this site is in a state of neglect. It is one of the least known Roman Villas since it is difficult to access. It is on the Heritage at Risk List compiled in 2001 by ICOMOS, the International Council on Monuments and Sites. This list classified this villa at a risk factor of level 4, stating that it shows 'severe signs of risk' but, on a more positive note, 'reversibility still possible'.