Megalithic Temples of Malta
The Megalithic Temples of Malta are the eleven prehistoric monuments, of which seven are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, built during three distinct time periods between 3000 BC and 700 BC approximately. They have been claimed as the oldest free-standing structures on Earth, although the largely buried Göbekli Tepe complex is now believed to be older. Archaeologists believe that these megalithic complexes are the result of local innovations in a process of cultural evolution. This led to the building of several temples of the Ġgantija phase (3600-3000 BC), culminating in the large Tarxien temple complex, which remained in use until 2500 BC. After this date, the temple building culture disappeared.
The Ġgantija temples (two sites) were listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980. In 1992, the UNESCO Committee further extended the existing listing to include five other megalithic temple sites. These are Ħaġar Qim (in Qrendi), Mnajdra (in Qrendi), Ta’ Ħaġrat Temples (in Mġarr), Skorba Temples (in Żebbiegħ) and Tarxien Temples (in Tarxien).Nowadays, the sites are managed by Heritage Malta, while ownership of the surrounding lands varies from site to site.
Other sites apart from those included in the UNESCO World Heritage list include Borġ in-Nadur (in Birżebbuġa), Kordin III, Il-Bidni, Xemxija Temple, Hal Ginwi Temples, Tal-Quadi (fr, ru), Ta’ Marżiena, Ta’ Raddiena,[L-Imramma Temple, Buġibba,[Santa Verna, Tas-Silġ (in Żejtun) and a complex network of tracks gouged in the rock Misraħ Għar il-Kbir (in Dingli) and other.
- The Megalithic Temples of Malta are the eleven prehistoric monuments, of which seven are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, built during three distinct time periods between 3000 BC and 700 BC approximately