Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Ta'Hagrat Temples

The Ta'Hagrat Temples are another example of the Megalithic temples built in Malta. The Ta'Hagrat Temples were constructed around 3600 - 3200 BC and date from the Ġgantija period, the earliest period of megalithic temple construction in Malta.



The Ta'Hagrat Temples are among the oldest religious buildings in the world, let alone Europe. The Ta'Hagrat Temples are similar in appearance to the nearby Ta'Skorba Temples, something we'll cover in a bit. It is possible that the Ta'Hagrat Temples are some of the oldest in Malta because they seem to have been less planned than the other temples dating from the Ġgantija period. The main temple was built during this time, but the smaller temple was added during the Saflieni period.

Like most of the Maltese Temples they feature the trilithons prominently. Trilithons are stone doorways, think about what Stonehenge is made up of with two posts and a slab on top. The pottery found in the temple is fascinating in its own right. It dates from what is known as the Mġarr phase, which predates the Ġgantija phase in pottery making. So, as the builders were advancing into the Ġgantija period, the potters were still a bit behind.

Model Temple
For me the most fascinating pieces in the Ta'Hagrat Temples are the temple models they found. These seem to be almost like prehistoric models of temples that were going to be built, showing either sophisticated architectural practices, or an association of religious fascination with these buildings at every stage of construction. It's probably both.

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