Borġ in-Nadur site contains a megalithic temple as well as the remains of a Bronze Age village which includes the earliest fortifications of Malta. A temple was constructed in the area in around 2500 BC, during the Tarxien phase of Maltese prehistory and the last phase of the Temple period. The architecture shows a typical four-apse plan, although the wall made up of megaliths is quite low. The temple's entrance has two upright megaliths which can still be seen. A large covered niche stands close to the entrance but its capstone is now broken into three pieces.
The temple lacks the artistic decorations associated with similar temples from the era such as Tarxien Temples or Ħaġar Qim. A small cemetery is located about 9m away from the main temple.
In the Bronze Age period, a flourishing village colonized the site of the former temple as well as the surrounding area, which had since been abandoned. The temple was converted into a group of dwellings, and various huts were built in the area around it. The huts' foundations still exist, but they cannot be seen today since they were reburied after being excavated and studied. Scattered sherds were found in a large area all around the temple. Some of these were Mycenaean in origin, indicating that there was direct or indirect contact between the Maltese and Aegean civilization.
The inhabitants fortified their settlement with a 4.5m D-shaped bastion in order to bar access to the village. The wall was built facing inland, showing that the people living in the village were more afraid of attacks from the land than from the sea. After the area was excavated, the wall was not reburied and it still standing. This is believed to be the oldest surviving fortification in Malta.
The cart ruts and silos located in the area around Borġ in-Nadur are also believed to date from the Bronze Age era.
The temple was discovered in the 16th century. The French cleric John Quintin noticed the various scattered megaliths and ruined structures and identified them as the ruins of a sanctuary of Hercules. The first excavations took place two centuries later, when Annetto Caruana dug various trenches inside the temple complex and discovered the Bronze Age fortification.References:
The Externsteine (Extern stones) is a distinctive sandstone rock formation located in the Teutoburg Forest, near the town of Horn-Bad Meinberg. The formation is a tor consisting of several tall, narrow columns of rock which rise abruptly from the surrounding wooded hills. Archaeological excavations have yielded some Upper Paleolithic stone tools dating to about 10,700 BC from 9,600 BC.
In a popular tradition going back to an idea proposed to Hermann Hamelmann in 1564, the Externsteine are identified as a sacred site of the pagan Saxons, and the location of the Irminsul (sacral pillar-like object in German paganism) idol reportedly destroyed by Charlemagne; there is however no archaeological evidence that would confirm the site's use during the relevant period.
The stones were used as the site of a hermitage in the Middle Ages, and by at least the high medieval period were the site of a Christian chapel. The Externsteine relief is a medieval depiction of the Descent from the Cross. It remains controversial whether the site was already used for Christian worship in the 8th to early 10th centuries.
The Externsteine gained prominence when Völkisch and nationalistic scholars took an interest in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This interest peaked under the Nazi regime, when the Externsteine became a focus of nazi propaganda. Today, they remain a popular tourist destination and also continue to attract Neo-Pagans and Neo-Nazis.