The location of the Maltese Islands at the centre of the Mediterranean has resulted in the creation of an inextricable link between the history of the archipelago, its inhabitants and maritime activity in the Mediterranean.
The inescapable presence of the sea has shaped the islands history, traditions and culture, be it through direct or indirect interactions. The sea has not only brought goods to the islands, but also people and their ideas, with cultural influences coming from all over the Mediterranean, and indeed the world.
For at least 7500 years the people of Malta and Gozo have witnessed maritime traffic, be it for commerce, travel or war. Through the foundering of ships off the archipelago’s coasts, the jettisoning of cargo, or the resting place for ships from both World Wars, it can be said that millennia of history are reflected on the archaeologically rich seabed of Malta’s territorial waters, creating a cultural heritage resource that is unique.