Geographically, Sicily falls in the middle of the Mediterranean, dividing it into two main sections: the western and the eastern basins. Its climate has generally a cold wet winter season and a long hot summer with practically no rain. The western basin, which covers Sicily and the Maltese islands (93 kilometres south), is separated from the eastern basin by a submerged ridge. A shallow bank where the depth is not more than 365 metres exists from Sicily to the coast near Tunis. Between Malta and Sicily however, the depth is less than some 182 metres, from which evidence J. D. Evans (1963, 34-5) thinks that it was quite possible both countries were once joined

together by a land bridge. This has been proved by the bones in caves which were discovered in Malta, at Ghar Dalam (The Cave of Darkness) that are of European rather than North African origin. On the other hand, the flora of Malta bears a resemblance to that of North Africa (Haslam, Sell and Wolseley 1977, x-xi, xlvii-xlix) which, according to Evans (ibid, 35), suggests that Malta was also joined to North Africa but was cut off from it at an earlier period than from Sicily.