The megalithic temples of Malta
Among other things to history, the Maltese archipelago is still world famous for the fact that the oldest man-made structures on Earth are located in these places. This is the megalithic temples. The man, who had never encountered such prehistoric monuments, often raises a number of questions: what kind of temples such as their, where, for what purpose were erected? Let’s start from the very beginning that there is a megalith in General?
In simple terms, is any religious building, built of huge semi-finished or rough boulders, among which are the dolmens (funerary box, covered with a massive flat slab), and menhirs (separately from each other standing stones) and cromlechs (circular fence).
Here are cromlechs megaliths. The best known among the cromlechs are considered to be in the world of Carnac (France) and Stonehenge (England) is, but the Maltese buildings are older, they also differ in “accuracy” — on the territory, comparable to a small European city located more than twenty temples.
What they have in common? — design features (e.g., login form), the material, and often a similar architectural form, resembling the appearance of the petals of a flower. Many churches are quite primitive, probably, have survived, not all the details,but others are decorated with carvings and are of a particular ornament (e.g. Tarxien).
In principle, certainly not established that they were built to worship, but we need to know at least a little Maltese to understand — they all to the last drop give for the construction of the temple, even if they will remain in poverty. Perhaps this tradition is rooted to the times of the first settlers.
In a separate study of the megaliths is a method of construction of the temples. The fact that all the buildings of that time were made from blocks of stone about 8 feet in length and weighing tens of tons.
To this day it remains a mystery how could the people of that era who knew only primitive tools to build entire complexes of buildings of such a large construction material.
However, many are inclined to believe that fair legend, which says that other temples were built by the human race: people-giants. Well, whenever you look at these stately walls of the Maltese megaliths, involuntarily convinced of the likelihood of this hypothesis.
However, there is a version that, the ancient builders created an entire technology. The first thing was to dig a deep pit for the Foundation of the temple: there was one vertical side and another, opposite — sloping. With vertical sides the logs were strengthened by a ditch.
Then back on the rollers, was rolled large stones, after which they crossed on an inclined plane, and then, with primitive winches and levers, dragged into the pit. The laying of the blocks in the desired position slowly, literally inch by inch.
But in the end, the stone went right. After the completion of the laying of the Foundation of the people proceeded to the construction of the underground part of the temple, with the help of winches and forests.
The approximate age of all structures dates back to the ancient eras of the Chalcolithic and Neolithic (4000-2000 BC). From the preserved temples of the ancient Ggantija in Gozo — built approximately in 3600 BC, and about 1000 years before the Egyptian pyramids.
The ġgantija temples are listed in the Guinness book of records as the oldest manmade structures on the planet. The rest of the temples of Malta, though not so ancient, also have lasting historical value.
Unique monuments of antiquity were found on the territory of many of them, paintings, sculptures, etc. Many of their discoveries complement the exhibition of the Malta Museum of archaeology. In our time in Malta to visit there are a number of megaliths in almost all parts of the archipelago. Often churches are United into complexes: one is two or three buildings.