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According to Gozitan legend/folklore, a giantess who ate nothing but broad beans and honey, bore a child from a man of the common people. With the child perched on her shoulder, she built these temples and used them as places of worship.
One of the oldest pre-historic temple Complexes in the world:
The temples are built in a typical clover-leaf shape, with inner facing blocks marking the shape which was then filled in with rubble. This led to the construction of a series of semi-circular apses connected with a central passage, which were originally covered with roofing.
Interestingly, the construction of this temple complex/monuments was done when the wheel had not been introduced and no metal tools were available to the Maltese Islanders. Small, spherical stones have also been discovered. Perhaps they were used as "rollers" or "ball bearings" for the "transporting vehicles" for carrying the stone blocks used for building the temples.
The megalithic monument encompasses two complete temples and an incomplete third, of which only the façade was partially built before being abandoned.
The materials used:
The hard-weaving coralline limestone has been used extensively in Ggantija and is one of the reasons behind the preservation of the monument. The softer Globigerina limestone is reserved for inner furnishings such as doorways, altars and decorative slabs. Each temple consists of several apses flanking a central corridor. The internal walls were plastered and painted over as is evidenced by two plaster fragments with red ochre, now preserved at the Gozo Museum of Archaeology.
Possible uses of various structures inside the temple complex:
The use of fire is evidenced by the presence of stone hearths.
A number of libation holes in the floor were perhaps used for the pouring of liquid offerings.
It is probable that during ceremonial activities, the congregation would have assembled outside the temple complex, since the large forecourt in front of the two temples was purposely raised by the temple architects.
Says the UNESCO book titled "Treasures of the World" in my personal library:
" The seven megalithic temples that make up the World Heritage Site in Malta and Gozo are outstanding examples of structures that represent a major development in culture, art and technology. All date from the third millennium BC and each is the result of an individual development, differing from the others in plan, execution and construction techniques.
The two temples of Ggantija on the island of Gozo are notable for their gigantic Bronze Age structures. On Malta, the temples of Hagar Qim, Mnajdra and Tarxien are unique architectural master-pieces, given the limited resources available to their builders. The Ta'Hagrat and Skorba complexes show how the tradition of temple-building was handed down in Malta. Each one is remarkable for diversity of form and decoration. The temples of Malta are the 'oldest free-standing monuments in the world'.
The elaborate rituals to which the temples are testimony are a remarkable manifestation of the human spirit, especially on a remote island at such an early date."