Thursday, August 23, 2012

Mnadjra Temple

Mnadjra is a Maltese Megalithic Temple complex located just about 500 meters from Ħaġar Qim temple complex. The temples at Mnadjra are similar to Ħaġar Qim (and other Maltese temples) in that they have a similar shape - the round rooms of the temples. Like most other sites, it was built over a long time and in various periods. The earliest construction took place in the earliest Ggantija phase (3600 - 3200 BC) while the latest buildings were added during the Tarxien phase (3150 - 2500 BC).  From the air, the temple looks sort of like a clover shape.

The construction of Mnadjra and Ħaġar Qim probably happened about the same time. Interestingly though Ħaġar Qim was built of globigerina limestone, while Mnadjra was built of coralline limestone. What difference does that make you ask? Well, one of the problems that has plagued Ħaġar Qim throughout its lifetime is that its limestone tends to flake off bit by bit. This is because globigerina limestone is softer than its cousin coralline limestone. This problem is entirely absent at Mnadjra.

Another similarity that Mnadjra shares with many of the other Maltese Megalithic Temples is that it aligns to certain astronomical features. We haven't covered this much, but many of these megalithic structures throughout Europe seem to line up to certain phenomena that happen in the sky at a specific point in the year. Often these megalithic structures sync up to a solstice or equinox. For this site, the main door is blasted with direct sunlight on the vernal and autumnal equinox while being completely sidestepped on the solstices. Pretty cool astronomical architectural tricks huh?


The temples at Mnadjra were so cool and so Maltese that the Maltese versions of the Euro cents had the Mnadjra Temples on the obverse side.

6 comments:

  1. As today Starts the beggining of a new season marking the beginning of Summer,We in Malta 4 time a year withness one of the wonders of the ancient world.The Temple of Imnajdra in the very early this morning the sun rays marked the Equinox.generico

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