Malta18 Hagar Qim Neolithic Temple


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YOU CAN DOWNLOAD THIS PRESENTATION HERE: Thank you! The Hagar Qim Temples & Mnajdra Temples Park are surrounded by an archaeological park that preserves the strikingly dramatic context of high coast, cliffs and a 17th century watch-tower. The temples are exposed to natural erosion, but the European Regional Development Fund has financed the building of protective shelters to slow down this erosion, which are also a useful refuge for visitors from rain and sun. The same funds have also financed a new Visitor Centre


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Hagar Qim Neolithic Temple Malta 18


Hagar Qim ("Standingg//Worshipping Stones") is a megalithic temple complex found on the Mediterranean island of Malta, dating from 3600-3200 BC. The Megalithic Temples of Malta are among the most ancient religious sites on Earth, described by the World Heritage Sites committee as "unique architectural masterpieces"


The temple of Hagar Qim, stands on a hilltop overlooking the sea and the islet of Fifla, not more than 2km south-west of the village of Qrendi


The surrounding landscape is typical Mediterranean garigue and spectacular in its starkness and isolation


In 1992 UNESCO recognized Hagar Qim and four other Maltese megalithic structures as World Heritage Sites


The Hagar Qim Temple in Qrendi , Malta was discovered under rubble in 1839, dating from around 2400-2000 B.C. The largest megalith found here is some seven metres long and weighs around 20 tons. The excavations also produced many 'fat figure' statuettes including the naturalistic 'Venus of Malta'


The temples of Mnajdra and Hagar Qim are covered by huge structures of open-air shelters that should protect them from the elements of natural erosion


Vere Gordon Childe, Professor of Prehistoric European Archeology and director of the Institute of Archaeology in the University of London from 1946-1957 visited Hagar Qim. His observation was:   “I have been visiting the prehistoric ruins all round the Mediterranean, from Mesopotamia to Egypt, Greece and Switzerland, but I have nowhere seen a place as old as this one”


Entrance to the megalithic Temple Hagar Qim, an impressive temple from the Maltese prehistory, created by huge megaliths and large altars 


The oldest buildings in Europe are found in Malta - older than the Pyramids of Egypt


One of the two 'porthole doorways' cut out of megaliths just behind the main portal at the main temple of Hagar Qim. The other 'porthole doorway' is on the opposite side


One of the prehistoric chambers at Hagar Qim holds an elliptical hole which is hewn out in alignment with the Summer Solstice sunrise. At sunrise, on the first day of summer, the sun’s rays pass through this hole and illuminate a stone slab inside the chamber. This is also an acoustic opening called the “oracle hole”. Sound passed from the main chamber into the recess, and vice-versa.


First excavated in 1839, the remains suggest a date between 3600 – 3200 BC, a period known as the Ġgantija phase in Maltese prehistory. Hagar Qim was in fact never completely buried as the tallest stones, remained exposed and featured in 18th and 19th century paintings


This one is the largest single blocks found in any temple on the Maltese Islands. It is 6.40m long and estimated weight close to 20 tonnes. The upright megalith to the right is 5.20m in hight


Three more chambers form part of this building but these can only be reached through doorways along the outer wall. Much of interest has been unearthed at Hagar Qim, notably stone and clay statuettes of obese figures which are also found at the National Museum of Archaeology in Valletta


During excavations a slab bearing a pair of opposing spirals in relief and a free-standing pillar decorated on all four sides were found in the area. These have been replaced with replicas on site and the originals can be found at the National Museum of Archaeology


One of the stone slabs forming the wall of this chamber bears two pairs of legs in high relief, probably forming part of two obese figures


'Venus of Malta'


The first inhabitants of Malta left no writing behind them, only elaborate, sophisticated and unprecedented stone structures in the form of temples. These temples, requiring extensive resources, were clearly an integral and religious element of their culture.  The archaeological record shows unequivocally that the Temple builders disappeared from around 2500 B.C. 


The Carob Tree (il-Harruba) is quite common on the Maltese Islands


The Carob Tree (il-Harruba)


The carob is one of the Mediterranean’s oldest trees, and grows without care or cultivation, surviving on meager rainfall. This low-spreading tree with its characteristic canopy effect is part and parcel of the Maltese rural landscape and is protected by law.   The carob is indigenous to the eastern Mediterranean, and the Bible is replete with references to what are likely to be carob-pods, like the pods that the prodigal son fed to pigs when he wasted his father’s inheritance and was forced to become a humble swineherd. The pods are also known as St. John's bread or locust beans because the pods were once thought to have been the "locusts" that were eaten by John the Baptist in the wilderness. In the past carob seeds were used to weigh gold, hence the word "carat." During the second World War, carobs fetched the highest price ever at a penny a pod. The seeds were ground along with precious and rare supplies of coffee-beans. In Malta and Sicily up to fairly recent times, carob syrup was used to soothe sore throats and ease coughs. In Malta the Carob Tree (il-Harruba) could still be found in its natural habitat


Carob sweets (il-karamelli) are still popular, and often sold at Good Friday processions because they are deemed traditionally to be the only sweets allowed during Lent, having supposedly medicinal properties. These sweets are made from the carob pods. According to an old Sicilian recipe for ‘Caramelle Di Carrube’ one needs to prepare equal amounts of carob pods and honey and have them boiled together until caramelised. The mixture is then strained and poured onto an oiled surface, marked into little squares and allowed to cool before being cut up into sweets. It is also used as a vegan substitute of cocoa. Perhaps the main benefit of carob as a chocolate substitute is that, unlike cocoa, carob contains no theobromine or caffeine.


Text: Internet Pictures: Sanda Foi ş oreanu Gabriela Cristescu Internet All  copyrights  belong to their  respective owners Presentation: Sanda Foi ş oreanu Sound: Ancient Greek Music : Hymn to the Sun; Invocation to Calliope and Apollo; Invitation to Nemesis 2017

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