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Tarxien, Malta


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A late Neolithic temple complex on the outskirts of modern Valetta, comprising the remains of at least four structures extensively excavated by T. Zammit between 1915 and 1919. The earliest temple was built about 3300 bc in the Ggantija Phase, but little survived the remodelling of the site about 3000 bc when two temples (the South and East Temples) were built in the Tarxien Phase. Both have four apses, but the South Temple is the finest of the two, with elaborate spiral decoration on the walls and the lower part of a large statue originally about 2.75 m high still in position. A door in the right‐hand rear apse of the South Temple leads into the fourth and latest temple on the site, the Central Temple. This example has six apses and a central niche. All the temples were abandoned about 2500 bc and for the following millennium the area was used as a cemetery for inurned cremations.

Rep.:

T. Zammit, 1930, Prehistoric Malta: the Tarxien temples. Oxford: OUP

Subjects: Archaeology.


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