Tarxien Temples

Tarxien, Malta

The Tarxien Temples are an archaeological complex dating to approximately 3150 BC. The site was accepted as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980 along with the other Megalithic temples on the island of Malta.

The Tarxien consist of three separate, but attached, temple structures. The main entrance is a reconstruction dating from 1956, when the whole site was restored. At the same time, many of the decorated slabs discovered on site were relocated indoors for protection at the Museum of Archaeology in Valletta. The first temple has been dated to approximately 3100 BC and is the most elaborately decorated of the temples of Malta. The middle temple dates to about 3000 BC, and is unique in that, unlike the rest of the Maltese temples, it has three pairs of apses instead of the usual two. The east temple is dated at around 3100 BC. The remains of another temple, smaller, and older, having been dated to 3250 BC, are visible further towards the east.

Of particular interest at the temple site is the rich and intricate stonework, which includes depictions of domestic animals carved in relief, altars, and screens decorated with spiral designs and other patterns. Demonstrative of the skill of the builders is a chamber set into the thickness of the wall between the South and Central temples and containing a relief showing a bull and a sow.

Excavation of the site reveals that it was used extensively for rituals, which probably involved animal sacrifice. Especially interesting is that Tarxien provides rare insight into how the megaliths were constructed: stone rollers were left outside the South temple. Additionally, evidence of cremation has been found at the center of the South temple, which is an indicator that the site was reused as a Bronze Age cremation cemetery.

References:
  • Wikipedia

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Details

Founded: 3150-3000 BC
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in Malta

Rating

4.2/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

orbdog (2 years ago)
Amazing to see remains of past civilizations, but not a lot of information given. Automated audio tour devices were not working at the time, and was not told of this at time of purchasing tickets. When I went back to ask them about the devices, they just handed me the advertising pamphlet.
Dan Boxshall (2 years ago)
Some of the human race's earliest history! It's a must see when you're in Malta! Went in January and it was very empty! Should definitely attract more visitors as in places it is 2000 years older than the pyramids and is in the top 10 oldest stone buildings. It's well presented with some good interpretation. Entrance as of Jan 19 was 6 euros and 45 mins is probably adequate to see the whole site.
Kevin Gambin (2 years ago)
Now that a tent has been installed the temples are more protected from nature's elements. Experience overall is positive and each section of the temple well explained with detailed display
David Baker (3 years ago)
Great historic temple remains on hill in urban environment. Walkways guide you around and into areas with information boards explaining the main features of interest. Site is covered with tent structures to protect from the elements and Sun.
Gabor Papp (3 years ago)
They put a great effort into preservation. The price seems a bit high. You can see the temples in twenty minutes with reading every information. It is an amazing piece of history. Worth visiting. Check out the the daily ticket might worth buying it if you plan to visit more temples.
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