The Sunken Archaeology of Malta and the Virtual Museum ‘Underwater Malta’

August 2021

The underwater heritage around Malta is one of the richest collections of maritime archaeology in the world. The quality of preservation is outstanding as well as the number of sites, and yet they are inaccessible to so many of us. Not only do you need to be able to dive to see these sites, but for most of them you need to be able to dive very, very deep and that is only possible for a tiny fraction with the requisite skill, experience, knowledge, equipment, support…and lets not forget courage.

One man has decided that this is not acceptable. Professor Timmy Gambin from the University of Malta has realised his vision for making this deep underwater heritage accessible by creating a virtual underwater museum: ‘The Virtual Museum – Underwater Malta’ at This online platform created by an international team of divers, photographers, archaeologists and computer programmers, brings Malta’s underwater cultural heritage to the surface and into the homes of the general public. Using 3D, virtual reality and other media, the aim of this website is to provide access to and share Malta’s unique underwater cultural heritage with all members of the public.

Dr Sam Willis and Timmy Gambin discuss a number of the sites that have been re-created online with extraordinary 3D photography including a Blenheim Bomber, a German Junkers 88, an X-Lighter; a collection of victorian guns, a German schnellboot and a Phoenician shipwreck.

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