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Tarxien Temples

The large stone blocks of the Tarxien Temples were discovered in 1913 by local farmers ploughing a field. The proprietor of the land at that time contacted the director of the National Museum, Sir Themistocles Zammit. The site was excavated between 1915 and 1919, where Zammit enlisted the help of local farmers and townspeople to help excavate the site.

The temple complex consists of four megalithic structures built sometime between 3600 and 2500 BC and re-used between 2400 and 1500 BC. The site is the rich and intricate stonework, including depictions of domestic animals carved in relief, altars of which one contained a flint knife and animal bones, screens decorated with spiral designs and other patterns. The earliest of these structures, was built sometime between 3600 and 3200 BC.

Excavations of Traxien yielded a remarkable collection of artifacts, the most famous of which is the “fat lady" statue, a representation of a Mother Goddess or a fertility charm. Cremated remains found at the temples indicate that it was once used as a cremation cemetery sometime between 2400 and 1500 BC.

The temples were included on the Antiquities List in 1925. As with other ancient sites in Malta a protective tent-like shelter has been built around the temple.

tarxien temple statue photo
tarxien temple photo
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