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Archaeology of Malta
Hagar Qim and Mnajdra Temples
 

Hagar Qim, discovered under rubble in 1839, dates from around 2400 - 2000 B.C. The largest megalith at Hagar Qim is some seven metres high and weights around 20 tons. Much of interest has been unearthed at Hagar Qim, notably a decorated pillar altar, two table-altars and some of the `fat lady' statues on display in the National Museum of Archaeology, Valletta. The site itself has connotations with a kind of fertility cult. Another aspect of Hagar Qim is the small, three-apse structure near the temple - this may have been the quarters of the temple's priest.

Other temple ruins stand a few metres away from the main temple. The Mnajdra Temple group stands isolated, about 600 metres further down cliff top. Mnajdra is made up of two sizeable temples and is thought to date from around 3400B.C. The temple construction shows the great skill of its builders. The third temple at Mnajdra is perhaps the finest surviving temple in Malta. The masonry shows intricate knowledge of building techniques and excellent workmanship. The spiral carvings and decorated, pitted slabs give an exceptional aspect to this remarkable site. The ruins of Mnajdra yielded valuable relics. The lack of any metal objects here and at other similar temples is evidence of its Neolithic origin.

The Hagar Qim Temple ruins, Malta The Mnajdra Temple, from above


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