Tarxien Temples, Malta

The Tarxien Temples are a complex of three separate structures built between 3000BC and 2500BC. The Temple named Tarxien East was the first to be constructed, this was followed soon after by the Southern Temple. The Southern Temple contains the largest concentration of megalithic art at this site. Stones are carved with spiral designs and depictions of animals are commonplace. It is believed that animals were killed here as a sacrifice, evidenced by the discovery of flint blades and animal bones found together within the hollow of an altar. The carvings depict goats, bulls, pigs and a ram. The Central Temple was probably the last to be constructed as it has the most complex design. The Temple contains six separate apses, it is believed the building may have been reserved for the elite as the passage between the first and second pairs of apses is blocked by a slab with a double-spiral design.

The Temple Culture ended very abruptly in Malta and during the early Bronze age (after 2500BC) the chambers were used for funerary purposes and cremations. In 1913 local farmers came across the site while ploughing a field and informed Sir Temi Zammit who was completing excavations at the Hal Safflieni Hypogeum nearby, Zammit excavated the site between 1915-1919.

GPS: 35.86918, 14.51193

 

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