|It appears that the site
was first in use around 3600 BC when some natural cavities were used as
a repository for the bones of the dead. As the cavities filled up, new
chambers were cut progressively deeper into the rock.
An underground area of more than 500 square meters devoted to worship and burial - the bones of over 7000 people have been found. The system of caves, passages and cubicles cut into the stone is similar to the interiors of megalithic temples.
Hal Saflieni Hypogeum is an enormous subterranean structure excavated with cyclopean rigging to lift huge blocks of coralline limestone around the year
One can see here spiral motifs and designs made of red ochre. One can also admire here the outline of a bull and also recognize another shape of a black hand
Its accidental discovery in 1902 caused quite a sensation in world archaeological circles. It had been buried with construction debris but when a well for the home that donated the debris could not be dug, a worker admitted to dumping construction materials into a “hole.” The “hole” turned out to be the Hypogeum. Once discovered, the well was diverted and reparation of the Hypoegum began.
The word Hypogeum originates from a Greek word and means 'under the earth'.
GETTING THERE: After 10 years of conservation initiatives in cooperation with UNESCO, the underground Hal-Saflieni Hypogeum reopened to the public in late 2000 but reservations are required to visit it It is approximately 100 meters away from the Tarxien Temples.
To protect what is left of the stones, only 80 people are allowed in each day. Booking is essential, either through a tour operator or hotel; or For booking availability, please log into www.heritagemaltashop.com and make a reservation request online.Staff will contacti you with further details.
|The last temple to be
built on the Islands
demonstrates skilful construction and elaborate design that suggests
the temple builders had gained considerable expertise over the millennia
since their arrival. Many of the decorated slabs found in-situ were
taken indoors for protection, at the Museum of Archaeology
The first temple dates to around 3,100 BCE and is the most elaborately decorated of the Maltese Temples. The middle temple dates to about 3,000 BCE, and is unique. Unlike the rest of the Maltese Temples, it has three pairs of apses instead of the usual two. The Tarxien Temples have been called the most beautiful prehistoric remains in Europe.
The first temple to be built here in Tarxien dates back to the Ggantija phase i.e. 3300 BC. This temple is built out of rough stones. This part is quite independent of the other monuments
Most of the decorated stones in Tarxien as well as the statue of the fat lady are not originals, but copies. The originals are kept in the National Museum in Republic Street, Valletta. The main entrance is a modern reconstruction, done in 1956,
The Tarxien temples were used as a temple or place of worship by the civilizations that followed the builders who mysteriously disappeared at the end of the Age of Taurus about 2300 BC.
Maltese temples were never used for the sacrificing of humans but only for the sacrificing of animals, mainly goat, sheep and ram.
remains of Tarxien were
discovered in 1914 under one meter of earth, by chance by
on the storyteller, stonemasons. The farmers
could not plough further and the Museums Department was
called in. Excavations started in 1915 by
Temistocles Zammit, Malta’s first director of museums, whose
pioneering work was to put an understanding of Maltese
prehistory and its chronology on a solid scientific basis. Remains
of cremation have also been found here, which indicates that
the site was reused by later Bronze Age settlers (2400-1500
WHERE: in the village of Tarxien not far from the Hypogeum. Can be crowded and is the most transformed from its original condition.
|the Gozo Stone Circle|
|MALTA TEMPLE LINKS|
Archaeology in Malta and Gozo Information and links from 0800-MALTA web site
Superintendence of Cultural Heritage Information about the cultural heritage of the Maltese islands
The Maltese Neolithic Domesticated Mammals, Paper by C.Savona-Ventura, A. Mifsud
History of Malta Amateur Maltese archaeologists with good links and images of the Temples
Din l-Art Helwa The National Trust of Malta, Official Web Page
The Influence of Neolithic Man on the Maltese Environment, Paper by C.Savona-Ventura
Din l-Art Helwa
louishenwood.com Louis Henwood's introduction to the temples and a mega site devoted to the history of Malta and his beloved adopted town of Sengles
The Planning of the Temples by Mario Vassallo
Jan Bily's on the Maltese temples
Mysterious Malta web site asking about the mysteries of the people that build the temples
Globalnet contacts about the Maltese Megalithic Temples
People of the Temples, by Linda C. Eniex.
S M I T H S O N I A N S
Focus Multimedia by Focus Multimedia online magazine
Links to Other Sites web.infinito.it/malta_mega_temples
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