Upon the reopening of Heritage Malta sites and museums this week, the Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum skulls will remain displayed at the National Museum of Archaeology in Valletta until the end of October.
The skulls exhibition, entitled “Alien Headaches? The Hypogeum Skulls Enigma”, was inaugurated last December and generated great interest up till the closure of museums and sites due to Covid-19 mitigation measures.
The Hypoegum skulls have captured popular imagination since they were unearthed, largely due to the fact that Sir Temi Zammit described them as being “of the long-headed type” during excavations at the Hypogeum in the first decade of the 20th century. Frequent requests are received to see the “elongated skulls” and several film crews have interwoven them into narratives which at times have included extra-terrestrial creatures.
This exhibition presents a unique opportunity to observe the Hypogeum skulls closely, since they are usually kept in the reserve collection and had not been publicly exhibited since 1995.
Innovative scientific techniques are allowing the skulls to be studied from new perspectives which are leading to a richer and broader understanding of Neolithic people within the context of an island environment. The exhibition shows how the skulls were examined from an archaeological, osteological and medical point of view.
The entrance fees for the exhibition are as follows: Heritage Malta members – free admission; Heritage Malta Children’s Passport holders – free admission for holders, half price for accompanying adults; Heritage Malta Senior Passport holders – half price for holders, normal price for companions. All other visitors pay the normal admission fees for the National Museum of Archaeology. The museum is open from Thursday to Sunday between 10.00am and 4.30pm.