The site of Skorba lies in the hamlet of Żebbiegħ, on the outskirts of Mġarr, overlooking the nearby valley and providing a spectacular view of the surrounding landscape.
Excavated by David Trump in the early 1960s, quite late when compared to other similar sites, this temple is unique for providing crucial evidence concerning the domestic aspect of the prehistoric people, including the temple builders themselves. This archaeological site includes the remains of two megalithic temple structures, one of which dates from the earliest phase of megalithic construction – the Ġgantija Phase, while the other was constructed at a later stage in prehistory, that is, the Tarxien Phase.
In addition, there are also the remains of several domestic huts, in which the prehistoric temple builders used to dwell. Some structures date from before the Temple Period (i.e. before 3600 BC), and therefore, are amongst the oldest constructed structures on the Maltese Islands. Scientific studies on these structures have provided crucial evidence on the life-sustaining resources which were available at the time and have also thrown light on the dietary patterns of the prehistoric people.
The archaeological value of the site and its contribution to our understanding of Maltese prehistory, were recognised by the international community and by UNESCO in 1992, when it was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List along with five other temple sites on the islands. In the words of David Trump himself, this site was not only as important as any of the others for the part it played in uncovering the whole prehistory of Malta, [but] it was more important than all the others put together.
Reasons to Visit
- 1. A Maltese Prehistoric Temple site inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
- 2. One of the oldest free-standing monuments of such scale and complexity in the world.
- 3. The only megalithic Temple site in Malta to have been excavated in living memory using a scientific method.
- 4. It is built partly of local Upper Coralline limestone, and partly of local Globigerina Limestone, which variation allows the visitor to distinguish between different phases of construction of the temple.
- 5. Its location in Żebbiegħ offers not only a magnificent view of rural Maltese environment, but puts the visitor into the same landscape setting that surrounded the prehistoric temple builders.