Megalithic temples of Hagar

Turofed — travel

Megalithic temples of Hagar and Ggantija.

Among other merits before history, the Maltese archipelago is world famous for the fact that the most ancient man-made structures on Earth are located here. This is the megalithic temples.

Hagar “standing stones (to) worship” – a megalithic temple complex on the island of Malta. Refers to the phase of Ggantija Maltese ancient history (3600-3200 BC).

The temple of Hagar Qim stands on a hilltop, with views of the sea and the islet of Filfla (Filfla). The temple is a single temple structure, although it is unclear whether it was built originally as four or pateamine structure. In fact, this religious building from the huge raw or semi-processed stone blocks, which include dolmens (funerary box, covered with a massive flat slab), and menhirs (single standing stones) and cromlechs (circular fence). Maltese megaliths are dolmens.

The fact that all the buildings were built of stone blocks, the size of which is 8 meters long and weighs tens of tons. Still, it remains a mystery how could the people of that era, which were known only primitive tools, to create such a large building material whole complexes of buildings, and even to lay the stones so tightly that they are no cracks. However, many are inclined to believe that a just a legend that the temples were built a different human race, people-giants. Well, sometimes, looking at great walls of the Maltese megaliths, and himself convinced of the grounds for this hypothesis.

However, there is a theory that the ancient builders developed a whole technology. First he dug a pit under the Foundation of the temple with one vertical side and another, opposite – sloping. The pit was reinforced with vertical sides with logs. Then back on the rollers, was rolled large stones, they would go on an inclined plane and then, using primitive levers and winches pulled off into the pit. Laying blocks in the proper position was slowly, inch by inch. But in the end, stone went as it should. After the Foundation of people started the construction of the underground part of the temple, too, with the help of winches and forests.

Builders Hajar-Ima used coral limestone. Since the material is soft enough, the Church was greatly damaged by erosion over the millennia of its existence. Who were these builders, where they came from and where they subsequently disappeared and remains a mystery.

On the facade of the temple is Trinity (made of 3 plates) entrance, outer bench and orthostate. In front of the temple lies a wide courtyard with a protective wall. The passage leads into the middle of the building. This design resembles the layout and other megalithic temples of Malta. A private entrance leads to four separate outbuildings built instead of the North-Western apse.

Ruins of another temple are located a few meters from the main temple, the outer courtyard and the façade conform to the model typical of all temples on the Islands. Particularly noteworthy are the larger orthostat – stone slabs on the corners, with grooves for the second of the horizontal rows of masonry above.

Many interesting items were extracted from the land of Hagar Qim, in particular, decorated the altar in the form of a column, two of the altar table, a few statues “full ladies”, which is now exhibited in the National Museum of archaeology.

The Egyptian pyramids were considered the oldest structures on earth until scientists discovered the megalithic temples on the Maltese archipelago. The most famous stone circles on the planet are Stonehenge (England) and Carnac (France, not to be confused with Egyptian temple complex), but the construction of the ancient Maltese, in addition, they are distinguished “accuracy” – more than twenty temple complexes located on the territory, comparable to a small European city.

A mysterious sanctuary in the town of Hagar Qim in Malta and in Gozo Ggantija about 1000 years older than the famous pyramids of Giza, older than other Mayan sites and Stonehenge.

The oldest of the surviving temples of Ggantija on the island of Gozo – was built approximately in the year 3600 BC, which means some 1000 years before the Egyptian pyramids. Is the earliest megalithic temples of Malta.

Complex Ggantija are at the end of the Xagħra plateau (Xag?ra). Consists of two giant temples face directed to the South-East, built in the Neolithic period. The temples are located close to each other and surrounded by a wall. The southern temple is the older and larger. It is better preserved than the Northern. The height of the South of the temple is 6 meters. At the entrance there is a large stone block with a recess, which, as expected, was used for ritual ablutions before entering the Shrine.

The plan of the temple incorporates five large apses (semi-circular parts), with traces of the plaster that once covered the rough wall. The form of the temples was typical for Malta in the form of a clover leaf. Five apses found various altars; according to the presence of animal bones, you can guess that there was a place of sacrifice.

Apparently, the temples belonged to the cult of fertility, judging by the numerous figurines found in the area. According to local folklore, the race of giants used them as a place to worship.

Local residents and travelers knew about the existence of the temple for a long time. In the late eighteenth century, long before the beginning of excavations in these parts, Jean-Pierre Owel amounted to a fairly accurate plan. In 1827, Colonel John Otto Bayer, Deputy Governor of Gozo, was ordered to clear the area from “garbage”. In this case, unfortunately later researchers, was taken out the original soil, which probably contained valuable archaeological materials. Fortunately, in a year or two until it will be removed “garbage” of the German artist Brochtorff sketched the monument, therefore, modern researchers know, what it looked like before the “cleaning”.

After the excavations in 1827, the ruins began to deteriorate. The land was in private ownership until 1933, when the government expropriated it. The museums Department conducted a thorough archaeological work in 1933, 1936, 1949, 1956-57 and 1958-59, for the purpose of cleaning, preserving and studying the ruins and the surrounding area.

In a world practically unknown structures that could be compared with Gratia in ancient times. Complex gigantea was listed in the Guinness book of records as the oldest man-made structure on the planet. It was listed as a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1980. In 1992, UNESCO decided to include five other megalithic temples on the Islands of Malta and Gozo, and instead of Gigantii in the UNESCO list is now specified.

In many Megalithic temples of Malta were found unique ancient monuments, sculptures, paintings, etc. Many of the findings complement the exhibition of the Malta Museum of archaeology.

Currently in Malta to visit there are many megaliths in almost all parts of the archipelago.

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