Ancient rocks of Malta

These ancient stones from megalithic monuments in Tarxien were discovered in 1915. Further digging and investigations revealed a set of temples dating back to between 3600 and 2500 BC and now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. They are some of the oldest known free standing stone structures, predating both Stonehenge (c. 3100 BC) and the Egyptian pyramids (c. 2630 BC).

Reconstructed entrance into the South Temple

The main entrance is a reconstruction dating from the 1950s, when the whole site was restored. It is inspired by trilithon doors found in other temples, but the exact appearance of the entrance at the Tarxien Temples in unknown.

Artefacts found on site during the excavations can now be seen in the Archaeological Museum in Valletta, but reconstructions and informative plaques help recreate these temples of visitors.

Side pillars of doorways are still clearly visible, along with some intricate carvings, especially spirals.

One of the most striking sculptures fund at Tarxien, is the lower part of a giant corpulent figure. Corpulent ladies have been found in other ancient temples in Malta and they are often considered to be symbols of fertility, though this is not proven and even their gender is not always certain.

The site is open to the public (entrance fee 6€ at time of writing) and is just a short hop from Valletta.


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Copyright Debbie Smyth, 28 March 2019

Posted as part of Tuesday Photo Challenge

5 thoughts on “Ancient rocks of Malta

    1. None that I know of, though similar age and some similar patterns of carving. New Grange is a tomb I believe, The temples on malta seem more about life and rituals, though there was some evidence of cremation.

      Liked by 1 person

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