Besides an idyllic natural setting and fine sculptural qualities, Mnajdra boasts of one of the oldest calendars ever produced. The internal arrangement of the South Temple is perfectly aligned with the rising sun on the first day of each season.
ĦAĠAR QIM TEMPLES
Although sheltered by a protective tent, the imposing and perfectly balanced facade of Ħaġar Qim Temples inspires awe and provides a fitting portal to a time remotely gone by. No wonder it stands out as a symbol of Maltese heritage.
ĦAL SAFLIENI HYPOGEUM
The Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum was brought to the attention of the authorities in 1902. The excavations first carried out by Manuel Magri and after by Themistocles Zammit led to great archaeological findings. Other digs undertaken during the early 1990s provided a clearer understanding of the early development of the site.
Consisting of four distinguishable temple units built over several centuries starting from around 3600 BC, the Tarxien Temples yielded the highest concentration of Late Neolithic Art. Fortunately, shortly after the archaeological excavations, Temi Zammit took the wise decision to move the original sculptures inside for protection. These are on display at the National Museum of Archaeology (Valletta), while the ones on site are faithful replicas.
Being less conspicuous, the site of Skorba was spared the clearance sprees of the 19th century. It was eventually excavated methodically by David Trump between 1960 and 1963. The information retrieved from this scientific dig proved to be of great relevance for a better understanding of the world class megalithic temples of the Maltese Islands.
Although appreciably smaller than the average size of Malta’s megalithic temples, Ta’ Ħaġrat is of particular note. It comprises two adjoining units set in pristine rural environs. While manifesting advanced technical and artistic skills, its industrious builders earned their livelihood through farming and animal husbandry.
Arguably the best preserved and most impressive of the megalithic temples of the Maltese Islands, Ġgantija comprises two units enclosed by a common boundary wall and fronted by a spacious forecourt. Clearly, this monumental complex served as a socio-religious focal point for the ingenious late Neolithic inhabitants of the Island of Gozo.
5000 years ago Malta and Gozo were home to one of the most outstanding cultures throughout the Neolithic world. The technical and artistic skills of these prehistoric islanders are best represented by the awe-inspiring megalithic temples, which are in turn listed by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites.