hal saflieni hypogeum
The Only Know Prehistoric Underground Temple In The World Between 4000 BC - 2500 BC
Hal Saflieni Hypogeum was discovered by accident in 1902 by a stone mason who was building the foundations of some houses. Immediately the Museums Department of the time took action where they discovered a wealth of archaeological material. It is situated at Paola in Ħal Saflieni Street.
A visitors center with a small exhibition and an audio-visual show will enhance your visit at the Hypogeum.
Disclaimer: On our website, you will find affiliate links from which we receive a small commission.
Three levels of chambers lying over each other were carved into soft globigerina limestone. Some of the chambers following the architectural features of the above-ground megalithic temples.
It extends over an area of about 500 (five hundred) square metres and reaching a maximum depth of about 11 (eleven) metres. The site has been dated between 4000 BC and was likely used until 2500 BC. This is all based on pottery and human findings on which examinations were carried out.
It is taught that it was used as a holy place with remains of 7000 individuals recorded during excavations.
Photo by @maltastudy
What The Hypogeum Consists Of
The upper level is a burial complex where rock was dug out to form burial chambers. Here, remains of more than 7,000 human bones were discovered. The bodies were buried with various ornaments. Stone implements, flint tools, stone, alabaster and clay statuettes, and a great variety of personal ornaments like shell beads and precious stones were found.
The middle level consists of various chambers very smoothly finished, which give the impression of built masonry. The workmanship is all the more impressive when it is considered that the chambers were meticulously carved using only flint and stone tools. Impressive spiral paintings in red ochre are still visible in some areas.
This is the lowest level which is only
seven steps down from the chamber. This area is known as the 'holy of
hollies'. One of the niches in the 'oracle chamber' has the characteristic of
echoing deep sounds. The carved facade is magnificent and the quality of its
architecture is in a remarkable state of preservation.the chamber known as the
holy of holies is a huge sculptured area, which looks very much like the
megalithic temples built above the ground. More about this site which talks about elongated skulls.
A research is going to be conducted by Associate Professor Ronika Power of Maquarie University, Sydney who will work hand in hand with the local curators of the National Museum of Archaeology and the Prehistoric Sites Department of Heritage Malta.
Hypogeum of Malta forms part of the UNESCO underground heritage sites.
Get your Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum Tour Tickets
Frequently Asked Questions About The Hypogeum
It was used for two purposes, a burial site and a place of worship.
The Hypogeum of Ħal Saflieni is a Neolithic
subterranean structure, meaning "underground" in Greek. It dates back
to the Saflieni phase (3300 – 3000 BC) in Maltese
It is open to the public daily with a limit of eight
tours per day starting at 9.00 till 16.00 being the last tour. Here you can
find the information you need. The numbers are
limited due to preserving the site.
You can do so by checking our tour page where we
explain in detail all the information you need to know about the tour up to
your booking stage.
Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum is definitely worth it. If you are interested in history and extraordinary old
structures we suggest to take the opportunity to visit.
Archeologists have discovered more than 7,000
human remains at the Hypogeum, which was also a cemetery. Through the centuries
it was dug up to three storeys deep and was used for two purposes burial and as
a place of worship.
Length of each tour is 50 minutes long. Each
tour can only allow up to 10 people.
In 1902, the year in
which the Hal Saflieni Hypogeum was discovered at the outskirts of Rahal Gdid,
or Casal Paola. Today this town is called Paola. At the time the surround
fields were being transformed by new housing projects. The Victorian street
grid is still visible today where it is now completely built up.
There have been a number of studies conducted by international archaeologists inside the Hypogeum in Malta, where sound experiments were conducted from the "oracle room". There was evidence that the stone walls of the oracle room vibrated subtly when sound was produced, creating reverberating waves that reached a resonant frequency of 110 megahertz.
It is impossible to overstate the significance of this discovery. It is important to note that many other ancient, sacred sites around the world have the same frequency producing effect built into their design, like Newgrange in Boyne Valley, Ireland, and many others. In addition to the sound waves emitted by the whole structure, the human body also resonates due to water molecules vibrating within its tissues.
The Tarxien Temples and Hypogeum are about 10 minutes away on foot from each other where you will also find a stop for the hop-on hop-off route buses apart from bus stops for public transport.
Do not miss to see the Paola Church a few minutes away from the Hypogeum. It is usually open in the morning.