Early Neolithic Period
(c.5000-4300 BC) brought the agriculture economy which allowed
civilizations to prosper.
planet's first city is Catul Hayuk
founded about 7500 BC in present day Turkey. While the fertility goddess
figurine, is also prominent among the ongoing archaeological digs, there
is nothing approaching the temples of Malta which remain the humanities
oldest public buildings.
The Temple Period (4300 - 2200 BC) This phase represents an important turning point in the cultural evolution of prehistoric man. The greatest undertaking of the pre-Phoenician Gozoitans are undoubtedly Ggantija Temples (3600 - 3000BC) situated in Xaghra, and documented as the oldest freestanding structure in the world.
It is possible but not likely that Malta was a sacred island where which entertained larger gatherings from the mother culture. The explanation would explain the lack or corresponding temples elsewhere. as there is a the dearth, or near-absence, of settlement sites contemporary with the temples in Malta. Recently at a 2003 Archaeology conference held on Malta it was pointed out that even nearby Sicily did not have settlements which corresponded with the people who used and erected the Neolithic temples of Malta.
Phoenician seamen were preceded only by the Minoans, who were active about 3000BC. The Minoans, based on the island of Crete produced a singular civilization in antiquity: one oriented around trade and bureaucracy with little or no evidence of a military state. The island of Crete's first archaeological remains date to 7000 BC
The prehistory of the Maltese islands started round about 5000 BC, but the people who built the temples are said to have mysteriously disappeared from the island. on a clear day it is possible to see Sicily and the islands and this is where the first settlers of the the Copper Age are most likely to have come from although it is easy to make the case they were seafarers from elsewhere in the Mediterranean.Control over Malta was a pre-requisite to domination of the Mediterranean. For this reason all the various powers that, at one time or other, held sway over the Mediterranean at that time exercised control over Malta. The list of Malta's colonizers is a long one, including the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans, Castilians, Knights of St. John, the French, and finally, the British.
(2200 - 700BC) Unlike their predecessors, these people were warlike
people who used copper and bronze tools and weapons and who cremated
their dead instead of burying them. Among the interesting remains, there
three dolmens on Ta'
Cenc plateau. These consist of a horizontal, roughly shaped slab of
limestone supported on three sides by blocks of stone.
Around 550BC, the
Phoenicians of Carthage took over and the Carthaginians, or
remained masters of the islands until 218BC. There are remains of a
Punic rock-cut sanctuary at Ras il-Wardija, on the outskirts of Santa
Lucija village, on the south-western tip of Gozo.
The great City of Cathage rose nearby to Malta located where Tripoli,
Tunis now stands. Carthage inherited Phoenica's settlements on the
coasts of Sicily and Spain and on the adjoining isles. Not only were
these islands valuable possessions in themselves—Malta as a cotton
plantation but also also useful as naval stations to preserve the
monopoly of the Western waters.
|Romans (218BC - AD 535)|
At the beginning of the second Punic War in 218BC, the
Carthaginians were ousted by the Romans. In Gozo they created a
municipium, autonomous of that of Malta with a republican sort of
Government that minted its own coins. It is said
that Malta was much greener than it is today and it was the Phoenicians
and the Romans who cut down all the trees to build their large ships.
Under the Romans, Christianity reached the shores of the island for the
In AD 60, Saint Paul the Apostle, while journeying to Rome, was shipwrecked in Malta. The Maltese were introduced to Christianity by the Apostle of the Nations, St. Paul.
The site where
this event allegedly took place is St. Paul’s Bay. The
narration of the shipwreck of St. Paul is still told to this day on the
10th February, a national holiday and a religious feast.
arrival in Jerusalem with the relief funds, Ananias the
High Priest made accusations against him which resulted
in his imprisonment (Acts 24:1-5). Paul claimed his
right as a Roman citizen to be tried in Rome, but due to
the inaction of the governor Felix, Paul languished in
confinement at Caesarea Palaestina for two years until a
new governor, Porcius Festus, took office, held a
hearing, and sent Paul by sea to Rome, where he spent
another two years in detention (Acts 28:30).