Tarxien

Date: 3250 – 2800 BCE

Period: Neolithic

Phase: Tarxien

Location: Tarxien, Malta

Access: Public museum managed by Heritage Malta







Site details


Tarxien comprises the remains of four temples with varying layouts. Tarxien South has four apses and a niche. Tarxien Central has six apses and a niche. Tarxien East has an irregularly-shaped four-apse-plus-nice layout and Tarxien Far East has four apses and a niche.


Features

  • Giant 'fat lady' statue

  • Giant immovable vessels

  • Decorated altar with porthole and spiral carvings

  • Animal carvings

  • Spiral motifs

  • Pre-temple cistern

Finds

  • Model of a temple with a roof

  • Stone spheres

  • Jugs

  • Pottery sherds

Orientation

  • Tarxien South - south west

  • Tarxien Central - south west

  • Tarxien East - south west

  • Tarxien Far East - south

Interesting facts


In one of the temples there are stairs to nowhere. They may have led to a roof originally since the temples aren't thought to have had second floors.


In the decorated altar a stone plug hid a small compartment which contained animal bones and a flint knife.


The cistern with its finely carved circular stone plug was found underneath the torba flooring of that chamber so it's thought it was in use before the temples were built.


It's the only temple in Malta with six apses. Structural changes were made to Tarxien South and Tarxien East to accommodate this large central temple.




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