Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Gozo - Ggantija Temples

January 23, 2015

Ggantija Temples

The awe-inspiring megalithic compex of Ggantija was erected in three stages over a period of several hundred years (c. 3600-3000 BC) by the community of farmers and herders inhabiting the small and isolated island of Gozo (Malta) at the centre of the Mediterranean.

Ggantija consists of two temple units built side by side enclosed within a single massive boundary wall, and sharing the same façade.  Both temples have a single and central doorway, opening onto a common and spacious forecourt that is in turn raised on a high terrace.  Rituals of life and fertility seem to have been practiced within these precincts, while the sophisticated architectural achievements reveal that something really exceptional was taking place in the Maltese Islands more than five thousand years ago.

The complex stayed in use for about one thousand years, down to the mid-third millennium BC, when the Maltese Temple Culture disappeared abruptly and mysteriously.  Eventually, the successive inhabitants of the Early Bronze Age (2500-1500 BC) adopted the site as a cremation cemetery.

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