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26 March 2006
A prehistoric temple model from Malta

One of the most interesting features of the prehistory of the Maltese Islands is the large amount of interesting finds, whether they are the large and impressive temples, or else the various figures of the human body represented in all shapes and sizes. At the National Museum of archaeology there is an item which is given its due importance. This is the so-called small temple, discovered at ta' Hagrat Temples, Mgarr (Malta).
     The small temple is very small, and it is made up of a small piece of globigerina limestone. This is carved to resemble the facade of a small building, with the difference that there are the details showing the roof slabs. The inclusion of roof slabs, and very clearly indicated gives the impression that these people had known the technique of roofing such-like structures, even though the ruins of the prehistoric temples do not have any roofs left intact. Thus, it is also possible to understand the technique of these people in roofing their buildings.
     In this case it might be concluded that we have stone slabs. They are laid one next to each other, and resting on the uprights. The same uprights are similar in construction to the actual temples that have still survived to this very day. Yet, due to the size of the temple model, and to the fact that the facade is not concave like in the majority of the temples discovered, this model presents us with more questions than answers. Is the model showing us a temple, or another type of building which unfortunately has never been discovered in Malta?
     The model seems to have been built to scale, as it fits very clearly such structures. Besides that, the uprights of the megaliths are also interesting as they are showing stones which are either shown as having been placed at their widest part, or else at the thinner part. The latter are also indicated as slightly projecting out from the normal building. As has become accustomed, this model continues to confirm that the prehistoric community who erected the buildings all over the Maltese islands knew of what they were doing and had a clear idea of planning before they actually took to the building of any structure.

Source: di-vd.com (26 March 2006)

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