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"Red ochre branching spiral designs decorate the ceiling of both main chambers and a few of the subsidiary cells. The paintings denote the tree of life: the symbol representing life, prosperity and a source of nourishment." 
hypogeum by heritagemalta.org A UNESCO World Heritage site
Megalithic means made of such stones, but without the use of mortar or cement. The word megalith comes from the Ancient Greek megas meaning large, and lithos meaning stone.
"The construction tools available at the time were hand-axes made of flint and quartzite, knives and scrapers of volcanic obsidian, wedges of wood and stone, hammers of stone and levers of wood. No metal tools of any kind have been found at the temples. Malta has no mineral resources and the flint and obsidian found on Malta and Gozo were most probably imported from the islands of Lipari (north of Sicily) and Pantelleria (south-west of Sicily). After the great blocks of stone were quarried they were transported with rollers and levers to the temple sites. At the building sites, the rollers were exchanged for stone balls so that the massive blocks of stone could be moved in any direction, rather than the forward and backward motion possible with rollers."SacredSites.com

Sleeping Venus of Malta found at the entrance to the the Hypogeum. She is said to represent a priestess laid here to give interpretation to prophetic dreams.

Limestone, then as now, was the major building material of the islands, and these awe inspiring megalithic stones available in sheer inexhaustible quantities and has left its mark all over Malta and Gozo: the golden yellow globigerina limestone. Malta is so rich in this valuable material that, contrary to many historical buildings in other countries, the architectural heritage in Malta was not plundered for its stone. When freshly broken, the stone is soft and can be easily, almost effortlessly, worked with a saw, hatchet and chisel. But it then hardens in the air and becomes so strong that it makes ideal building material, even for the fortresses of the Order of the Knights of St. John.
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, newThe Hypogeum on Malta 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.

tarxientemples by


the "fat lady," as they are curiously known in Malta,  is a symbol of fertility. It is probably to the Goddess of Fertility that these temples were erected. These people saw in mother nature, the mother who gave them their children and their food.

While some archaeologists and Maltese like to debate whether this gigantic statue is male or asexual it is agreed by all that this symbol represents a divinity or a human is being represented, then there is little doubt that this is a divine figure since it would have stood over 3 meters tall.

Bird Goddess from Tarxien cemetery, Malta, 3000 BC
Over 800 pages of images & text by photographer
Daniel Cilia more
Artifacts and furnishings (now removed from the temples and placed in museums) indicate ancestor worship, oracular and fertility goddess cults. The temples seem to have been used only for ritual activity and not as cemeteries, for no burials have been found. Sacrificial flint knives are among the artifacts discovered in the temples but no human bones, indicating that sacrifices were solely of animals and not humans.

 Source: Jeff and Faye's Incredible Trip to Malta


Last Supper of Christ by DaVinci

In six of seven lists given in the four Gospels, “the name of Mary Magdalen is given first—ahead of Mary, theDownload mother of Jesus, and ahead of the other women mentioned,” points out Margaret Starbird, author of The Woman With The Alabaster Jar.
Starbird's most original piece of research, and the other source that leads her to conclude that Mary Magdalene is the bride of Christ, concerns the sacred numerology used by writers of the Old and New Testaments. Starbird discovered that the Greek spelling of "the Magdalene" corresponds to the number 153 identified in the ancient world as the vesica pisces. This geometric shape of two overlapping circles forms, in the center, an almond-shaped vulva, the archetypal image of fertility and regeneration. Early Greek mathematicians called this form "the Holy of the Holies" and considered it the matrix from which all other geometric forms were derived. Given the power accorded to numbers in the ancient world, it would not have been an accident that "the Magdalene" spelled out 153 and was therefore equated with the vesica pisces.
Da Vinci Code: the movie at imdb

Opus Dei responds to their portrayal in Dan Brown's book



A Magdalene for the Twenty-First Century

By Deborah Rose

halexandria.org/ vesica pices
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 in Valletta.

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.

"Here one sees an almost geometrical pattern. With their beautiful spiral motifs and dot motifs, the Tarxien temples are undoubtedly the most beautifully decorated temples. "
more at edrichton.com

 Maltese temples were never used for the sacrificing of humans but only for the sacrificing of animals, mainly goat, sheep and ram.

DISCOVERED: remains of Tarxien were discovered in 1914 under one meter of earth, by chance by local farmers or depending on the storyteller, stonemasons. The farmers could not plough further and the Museums Department was called in. Excavations started in 1915 by Sir 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 BC).
Don't Miss: Just before one enters the temple one
can see on the left several spherical stones of different sizes. These stones were used to transport the heavy stones from the quarry to the building site.

WHERE: in the village of Tarxien not far from the Hypogeum. Can be crowded and is the most transformed from its original condition.

Tarxiem Fotos by maltacenter.com

tarxien by bradshawfoundation.com

  the Gozo Stone Circle  

In 1828 the Duke of Buckingham commissioned Charles Frederick Brocktorff to draw the Stone Circe but the publicity was not kind to the priceless site triggering the destruction of the visible megaliths such that the site could no longer be located after 1835.
"In the annals of the history of Maltese archaeology an important event took place in September 1985, when the First International Conference on Archaeology of the Ancient Mediterranean was held in Malta and many top archaeologists attended from all over the world. I seized the opportunity to take several groups of them over to Gozo and showed them round the archaeological sites, including The Stone Circle. Both the American and British archaeologists showed keen interest in these sites and I could feel their enthusiasm mounting to a competitive degree, with Dr. David Trump on one side and Professor Marija Gimbutas of the University of California in Los Angeles and her students on the other.
Bird hunter and amateur archaeologist Joe Attard Tabone rediscovered the site and introduced it to key archaeologists in 1985 resulting in the Gozo Project which excavated it for 7 years beginning in 1987.more
A burial sequence was revealed in the middle of the Circle that continued from the earliest Temple Period (Zebbug) 4100 BC to the latest (Tarxien) 2500 BC followed by a further phase of limited occupation most prominent in the Tarxien Cemetery period 2500 - 1500 BC.
Gozo Circle is also called the Brochdorff Circle  it is very close to the Gganntiga Temples. Excavated 1987 to 1994 and used as early as 4100 including as a hypogeum

Cenc Plateau by www.maltacenter.com


Venus of Malta

Venus of Malta

CART RUTS: are an enigmatic feature in the Maltese landscape.  These paired,  parallel tracks can be found in about one hundred and fifty sites across the islands. 
Exakter Kurvenverlauf, bei dem hohe Räder brechen würden.
 Found also in other countries such as Greece, Sardinia, Italy and Sicily, they occur in their greatest number on the Maltese Islands
It is generally held that these cart-ruts are the result of human activity, with the ruts themselves being the last evidence for a transport network of the past. Some cart ruts lead into the sea lending evidence to the Malta as Atlantis theory
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

Gozo Stone Circle - Rediscovered. By. Joe Attard Tabone ... Copyright © 1996.All rights reserved, J. Attard Tabone Revised: June 22, 2002 . ...

Grupp Arkeologiku Malti

Dr. Anton Bugeja MD: October 1998

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
Maltese Heritage Protection Organisation


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
Megaliths in Maltamegalithic.co.uk/article.php?sid=10436



Awakened Woman, the Journal of Women's Spirituality pages on a Malta Temples visit in 1999
SacredSites.com + "malta" by google 12 pages by Martin Grey  on prehistoric Malta


People of the Temples, by Linda C. Eniex.


From the archives of Archaeology Magazine

Malta Rocks of Ages
The tiny Mediterranean islands of Malta, massive megaliths constitute a singular treasure: The oldest freestanding stone monuments. September 1996, by Robert Wernick

Focus Multimedia by Focus Multimedia online magazine


Links to Other Sites  web.infinito.it/malta_mega_temples
stone circle web ring
The Stone Circle (235+ Sites)
  A Webring devoted to Stone Circles, Megaliths and other Prehistoric Sites around the world. Our sites feature hundreds of images, travel guides, archaeology, archaeoastronomy, and new thinking on the subject. Sites hand-picked for quality but not censored for controversial ideas. Stonehenge, the Anasazi, Cahokia, Callanish, henge monuments.

Goddess Tours by google

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