The megalithic temples of Malta: the oldest megaliths in history
Fast forward to the Maltese archipelago. One of the favorite places for tourists has long been considered a place of historic significance. Here are some of the most ancient mysterious megalithic structures of mankind – the megalithic temples of Malta and Gozo.
Amazing the age of the buildings
The true history of the local ancient inhabitants currently unknown. It is impossible to say who exactly they were, what purpose did it travel to the Islands, but the construction of these skilled craftsmen are still standing today.
Scientists believe that the origins of the civilization of the Maltese builders takes about 7000 years ago. For the most part it was a Neolithic culture – all the buildings made of stone. But about total isolation of the residents say no, it is believed that they had developed trade relations with the European part, in particular with Italy.
For a long time it was believed that the megalithic constructions of Malta are of a later origin, but after carrying out radiocarbon Dating everything fell into place. Now the palm in the field of construction the largest stone structures out from Egypt and Mesopotamia to Malta. Really fascinating and important discovery for understanding human history. The period of the establishment of Maltai megalithic temples of Gozo (approximately mid IV – late III Millennium BC) has been called the “era of the temple builders”.
The megaliths of Malta: highlights
Located here 23 megalithic sanctuaries. All of them are full of local limestone. In the course of further agricultural activities of local residents, many churches understand the needs of Maltese peasants, so some of the churches represented in the form of ruins, but these ruins make you marvel even the most sophisticated viewer.
To our days in relative safety came only four churches – Ggantija, Hagar Marek, are, Tarxien.
Gigantea in the heart of Gozo island
Ggantija (“Tower of Giants”) – the oldest of the megaliths, located in the centre of the island of Gozo. Ggantija is a complex of two temples. The remains of a larger temple surprise – ruined facade currently reaches six metres in height, indicating that it is a greater grandeur in ancient times. Also it is worth remembering that the construction of such facilities was carried out without modern construction equipment, in the stone age. The temple is partially filled cyclopentyl style stone masonry the stones hold by its own weight. Here there are still places for hanging sacrificed animals, deepening to olivki feet. The entrance to the sanctuary is guarded by large rocks. Inside the sanctuary was preserved the altar, which remained a niche under an ancient deity and openings for bloodletting sacrifices. The fence of the ġgantija temples surrounds both temples. Forming some of its stones weigh about 50 tons, which further casts doubt on the human origin of this structure.
Hagar Marek is the largest temple complex
Hagar Marek – next temple on our list of the megaliths of Malta. Concurrently the largest and most preserved temple complex. Here you can see all the same that in Gigantii wall, the sanctuary, the altar.
Tarxien – three in one
Tarxien – a complex of three temples, the pinnacle of the development of Maltese architecture. At the entrance of the third temple in the foreseeable past the statue of the ancient goddess of the local population. According to the researchers it reached 2.7 m in height. Preserved only its lower part, the original of which is preserved in the Museum of the capital city of Malta. On site also installed a copy of it.
Are – heading for the Sun
It is worth noting the attachment of the Maltese builders in selecting the site and location of buildings. There is something similar to Chinese “Feng Shui”. Also like many ancient architects the Maltese in addition to location in the landscape did the binding and to the sky. So Mnajdra temples are involved in astronomical phenomena such as summer and winter solstice and equinox.
Hypogea – underground temples
As for the culture of the inhabitants of Malta, there is a great influence of religion. Temples to the gods were built efficiently and to last centuries, and special facilities for greater safety, and were built generally underground.
The Hypogeum Of Hal-O Saflieni
So one of these structures the Hypogeum (an underground structure cut into the rock) Hal-o Saflieni, near the temple Tarxien. In its structure this Hypogeum mirror with precision similar to their external counterparts. Here also present and the hall and the altar. But in functional status there was no temple, and the burial. For many centuries it was the burial place for the local inhabitants. This system Hal-o Saflieni full of corridors and grottoes in three tiers with a total area of 480 sq. m. it is believed that a resting place it found about 6-7 thousand people of the ancient world.
The mystery of the Maltese buildings
In General, it seems that the Maltese archipelago was made by some major religious center of the ancient world, the Mediterranean place of pilgrimage for residents. Temples, in addition to its religious role took over the functions of the administrative, medical, financial institutions, further strengthening its Central influence in society.
The end of civilization ancient Malta shrouded in deep mystery. Researchers give a definite date of 2300 BC, the Cause is unknown, traces epidemics, military conflicts, natural catastrophes are not detected. People just disappeared, without giving a hint of their ultimate fate. But that had never happened to them, the megaliths of Malta will remain a great monument of world heritage of human civilization.
Video about the megaliths of Malta: