Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Skorba Temples

The Skorba Temples in Malta date from the Ġgantija Phase, the earliest phase of temple construction. Unfortunately, like Borġ in-Nadur located on the South side of the island, the Skorba Temples (also in the southerly part of Malta) the temple is in utter ruins compared to other contemporary temples. Obviously all of the Megalithic temples are in ruins, but Skorba and Borġ in-Nadur are in particularly poor condition. Probably because of this, the Skorba Temples didn't get any real archeological attention until the 1960's. This is by far the last megalithic temple to be excavated by the Maltese.

From excavation though it was shown that the Skorba Temples are typical from the early phase of temple construction. It contained apses and the typical clover shaped rooms. It had a courtyard and was constructed in roughly the same way as all the other temples. What makes Skorba so fascinating in comparison to its brothers and sisters is not necessarily the temple per se but the fact that one of the walls of the temples seems to have been incorporated from a wall built by a village that had been settled for over 12 centuries before the temple was built. Ok, so let's do some rough math. The Ġgantija phase began in 3600 BC and lasted until 3200 BC. Most likely Skorba was on the front end of the Ġgantija phase and not the back which means the village that preexisted the temple was founded right about 4800 BC. That's a very, very long time ago and is just about the time that the islands of Malta and Gozo were being populated.

Excitingly, inside of the temple more fat lady statues were found. However, the fat lady of Skorba was on the skinnier side in comparison to her contemporaries on the islands. But, the statue, which is broken into a few pieces (see picture) indicates that the worshipers of Skorba were in to the fertility cult that was raging across the Maltese archipelago in the fourth millennium BC. Maybe the skinny fat lady in Skorba showed some deviation from the popular and orthodox fat lady adoration. Is it possible that the Skorba idol indicates some sort of schism? Probably not. That's just sensationalism and pure conjecture. I don't know why I've allowed myself to indulge in this. On the other hand, that head looks a whole lot like the heads of the clone droid. Come to think of it, some of the Maltese islands look a lot like the Geonosis... Hmmm...


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