The prehistoric temples of Malta


‘A hundred kilometres south of Sicily, the archipelago of Malta, with its three islands and 315 square kilometres of surface area, represents the almost obligatory crossroads of the Mediterranean. This small archipelago is famous in the archaeological world for a num-ber, about thirty in all, of remarkably large megalithic temples. The erection of these unique monumental structures, which were built between seven and four thousand years ago, must have required hundreds of thousands of working days, and each temple resisted hundreds, sometimes thousands of years. These temples are the most important remains of a civilization which flourished in Malta long ago, and reveal an enormous creativity and imagination. Whilst they maintained the same basic design and character over the whole three thousand year period, they became more complicated as time went by. The religion and cosmology which they incorporated seem, however, to have remained unchanged. ‘Although it is quite probable’, says Professor Anati, “that the civilization which constructed the temples already has its roots in the earlier civilizations which have left traces of pottery, the effect of external influences cannot be ruled out. The subject, even after a century of archaeological excavations, is still shrouded in mystery, and poses enigmas which concern not only Malta but the whole Mediterranean area’. After a thriving period of some three thousand years, the civilization of the temples seems to have come to a sudden and drastic end, which might have been provoked by a plague or some other form of disaster which annihilated the population. The exhibition seeks to illustrate the birth, life and death of these wonderful ancient monuments with a series of photographs, mo-dels and artefacts, and to throw new light upon the creativity, inventiveness, religion and life of a people who inhabited the heart of the Mediterranean for thousands of years. With the support of the National Archaeological museum, and the minister of culture and education of Malta.’


20 Agosto 1988 - 27 Agosto 1988


Exhibitions Meeting Exhibitions