Megalithic Temples Of Malta

World Heritage Sites, Cultural Heritage

The Megalithic temples of Malta are an evidence to the origin of the first inhabitants of the Maltese Archipelago.

The numerous and still existing prehistoric monuments show how populated these islands were in the early days due to its geographical position. The prehistoric man inhabited these islands from 5,000 B.C. It shows how advanced they were in the art of building and the making of pottery.

Due to this these islands became a centre of human activity in the stone age era. It became an important calling place to many small vessels that used to travel across the Mediterranean sea in those early days.

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This can be firmly confirmed by the discoveries of the Megalithic temples located in many strategic locations.

Read more about Malta's Prehistoric period:

- Hypogeum Malta
- Hagar Qim Temples
- Mnajdra Temples
- Ggantija Temples
- Ghar Dalam
- Tas-Silg
- Tarxien Temples
- The Neolithic Man

How many temples?

There are seven megalithic temples of Malta and Gozo.

On the island of Malta, there are five temples. These are Hagar Qim and Mnajdra at Zurrieq.  The Tarxien Temples and ta' Hagrat and Skorba at Mgarr.

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There are also 34 sites where Megalithic stones were found.

For what they were built?

The Temples were built to honour and pray to the Goddess of Fertility in the shape of a fat lady. Neolithic people believed that they could provide crops with water and rain, fertile soil and animals for them to hunt. In such temples, people performed rituals of sacrifices which varied from crops to animals. There is no proof that humans were ever offered in sacrifice. 

From what materials were built?

Temples were built out of Megalithic stones. Such stones were either the menhir (tall standing stone) or dolmen (flat horizontal stone). These are the oldest free-standing monuments in the world.

All the temples are made up of semi-circular chambers. Such huge stones are believed to have been transported to the spots where temples were built on cart ruts (grooves cut in the ground). Temples prove that people in those days were very spiritual.

Megalithic architecture

The Megalithic temples of Malta were constructed towards the end of the Neolithic period and during part of the bronze age. All remains found on the island of Malta and Gozo could well be classified with Megalithic monuments. Most of our structures are made of large blocks of slightly worked stones.

The Maltese Neolithic man has left us an incredible cultural heritage and for this they are now the most important attractions in Malta.

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