Tag Archives: Ancient

Skorba Temples | Żebbiegħ Mġarr, Malta | 19 September 2014

The site of Skorba lies in the hamlet of Żebbiegħ, on the outskirts of Mġarr, overlooking the nearby valley and providing a spectacular view of the surrounding landscape.

Excavated by David Trump in the early 1960s, quite late when compared to other similar sites, this temple is unique for providing crucial evidence concerning the domestic aspect of the prehistoric people, including the temple builders themselves. This archaeological site includes the remains of two megalithic temple structures, one of which dates from the earliest phase of megalithic construction – the Ġgantija Phase, while the other was constructed at a later stage in prehistory, that is, the Tarxien Phase.

In addition, there are also the remains of several domestic huts, in which the prehistoric temple builders used to dwell. Some structures date from before the Temple Period (i.e. before 3600 BC), and therefore, are amongst the oldest constructed structures on the Maltese Islands. Scientific studies on these structures have provided crucial evidence on the life-sustaining resources which were available at the time and have also thrown light on the dietary patterns of the prehistoric people.

The archaeological value of the site and its contribution to our understanding of Maltese prehistory, were recognised by the international community and by UNESCO in 1992, when it was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List along with five other temple sites on the islands. In the words of David Trump himself, this site was not only as important as any of the others for the part it played in uncovering the whole prehistory of Malta, [but] it was more important than all the others put together.

Information from:
Web: http://heritagemalta.org/museums-sites/skorba/

© Tony Blood - Skorba Temples, Żebbiegħ, Mġarr, Malta, 19 September 2014

© Tony Blood – Skorba Temples, Żebbiegħ, Mġarr, Malta, 19 September 2014

Fishermen | Il Blata Tal Melh, Rabat, Malta | 29 August 2014

"Yesterday I bought 50 Euros of squid. This, we use it for the bait. So we cut it into pieces like this and they float. But today it stays at the side of the rocks, not so far away. I had no luck, I caught nothing."  Geatano Micallef, Fisheman. Il Blata Tal Melh, Rabat, Malta. 29 August 2014.

“Yesterday I bought 50 Euros of squid. This, we use it for the bait. So we cut it into pieces like this and they float. But today it stays at the side of the rocks, not so far away. I had no luck, I caught nothing.”
Geatano Micallef, Fisheman. Il Blata Tal Melh, Rabat, Malta. 29 August 2014.

"You have to be careful where you walk here. When you get to the inlet you have to run and then jump across it but watch your head on the other side because there is a rock. Some rocks fell down years ago and now it's harder to get to the other side."  Fisherman. Il Blata Tal Melh, Rabat, Malta. 29 August 2014.

“You have to be careful where you walk here. When you get to the inlet you have to run and then jump across it but watch your head on the other side because there is a rock. Some rocks fell down years ago and now it’s harder to get to the other side.”
Fisherman. Il Blata Tal Melh, Rabat, Malta. 29 August 2014.

"I've been coming here for 10 years so climbing up is easy to me." Fisherman. Il Blata Tal Melh, Rabat, Malta. 29 August 2014.

“I’ve been coming here for 10 years so climbing up is easy to me.”
Fisherman. Il Blata Tal Melh, Rabat, Malta. 29 August 2014.

Salt Pans | Il Blata Tal Melh, Rabat, Malta | 26 August 2014

© Tony Blood - Salt Pans. Blata Tal Melh, Rabat, Malta, August 2014

© Tony Blood – Salt Pans. Blata Tal Melh, Rabat, Malta, 26 August 2014

© Tony Blood - Salt Pans. Blata Tal Melh, Rabat, Malta, August 2014

© Tony Blood – Salt Pans. Blata Tal Melh, Rabat, Malta, 26 August 2014

© Tony Blood - Hiker's Cave.  Il Blata Tal Melh, rabat, Malta, August 2014

© Tony Blood – Hiker’s Cave. Il Blata Tal Melh, Rabat, Malta, 26 August 2014

© Tony Blood - Hiker's Cave. Il Blata Tal Melh, Rabat, Malta, August 2014

© Tony Blood – Hiker’s Cave, Il Blata Tal Melh, Rabat, Malta, 26 August 2014

© Tony Blood - Salt Pans. Blata Tal Melh, Rabat, Malta, August 2014

© Tony Blood – Salt Pans. Blata Tal Melh, Rabat, Malta, 26 August 2014

© Tony Blood - Salt Pans. Bahrija, Blata Tal Melh, Rabat, Malta, August 2014

© Tony Blood – Salt Pans. Bahrija, Blata Tal Melh, Rabat, Malta, 26 August 2014

© Tony Blood - Salt Pans. Blata Tal Melh, Rabat, Malta, August 2014

© Tony Blood – Salt Pans. Blata Tal Melh, Rabat, Malta, 26 August 2014

© Tony Blood - Salt Pans. Blata Tal Melh, Rabat, Malta, 26 August 2014

© Tony Blood – Salt Pans. Blata Tal Melh, Rabat, Malta, 26 August 2014

© Tony Blood - Il Blata Tal Melh, Rabat, Malta, August 2014

© Tony Blood – Il Blata Tal Melh, Rabat, Malta, 26 August 2014

© Tony Blood - Inlet. Blata Tal Melh, Rabat, Malta, 26 August 2014

© Tony Blood – Inlet. Blata Tal Melh, Rabat, Malta, 26 August 2014

© Tony Blood - Staircase. Blata Tal Melh, Rabat, Malta, 26 August 2014

© Tony Blood – Staircase. Blata Tal Melh, Rabat, Malta, 26 August 2014

The National Museum of Archaeology | Valletta, Malta | 25 August 2014

The National Museum of Archaeology displays a significant array of artefacts from the Islands’ unique prehistoric periods, starting with the first arrival of man in 5200 BC, running up to 2500 BC. The first rooms trace man’s early settlement on the Islands up to the temple-building periods using a reconstruction of a rock-cut tomb. The collection includes obsidian cores and the Red Skorba figurines, which are predecessors of the temple period objects and statuary. The main hall is devoted to temple carvings and the collection continues with representations of animals, temple models, and the remarkable human figures. Of particular note are the exquisite figures of the ‘Sleeping Lady’ from the Hypogeum, and the ‘Venus’ of Hagar Qim. The last room exhibits some pottery from the temple period, together with tools, beads and other ornaments.

Information from:
Web: http://www.visitmalta.com/en/info/nationalmuseumofarchaeology

The National Museum of Archaeology is housed in the Auberge de Provence, in Republic Street, Valletta. The building, an example of fine Baroque architecture, was built in 1571 and followed a plan by local architect Ġilormu Cassar. The Auberge de Provence was house to the Knights of the Order of St John originating from Provence, France and displays beautiful architectural features. Of particular note is the Grand Salon, with its richly painted walls and wooden beamed ceiling. The Museum exhibits a spectacular range of artefacts dating back to Malta’s Neolithic period (5000 BC) up to the Phoenician Period (400 BC). On display are the earliest tools used by the prehistoric people to facilitate their daily tasks and representations of animal and human figures; elements which not only show the great artistic skills of the first dwellers of the island but also gives us an insight of their daily lives.

Highlights include the ‘Sleeping Lady’ from the Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum, the ‘Venus of Malta’ from Ħaġar Qim, bronze daggers recovered from the Bronze Age layers at Tarxien Temples, and the Horus and Anubis pendant and the anthropomorphic sarcophagus, both belonging to the Phoenician Period. The Museum provides the visitor with a good introduction to the prehistory and early history of the Maltese Island sand acts as a catalyst to the other archaeological sites in Malta. Works are currently in progress to include another hall dedicated to the Punic period and others dedicated to the Roman and Byzantine periods in Malta.

Information from:
Web: http://heritagemalta.org/museums-sites/national-museum-of-archaeology/

© Tony Blood - The National Museum of Archaeology. Valletta Malta, 25 August 2014

© Tony Blood – The National Museum of Archaeology. Valletta Malta, 25 August 2014

© Tony Blood - Jug with floral decoration from Tal-Liedna (Terracotta). The National Museum of Archaeology. Valletta Malta, 25 August 2014

© Tony Blood – Jug with floral decoration from Tal-Liedna (Terracotta). The National Museum of Archaeology. Valletta Malta, 25 August 2014

The Phoenicians buried their dead in a variety of ways. One of these was to put the corpse inside a coffin. Fashioned in wood, terracotta stone, stone, and marble, coffins consisted of a casket and a lid, and were often shaped like a human figure, a practice that was very popular in pharaonic Egypt. The coffin on display here was found at Għar Barka on the outskirts of Rabat (Malta) in 1797. Lead poured inside the grooves on the side of the coffin was meant to hold the lid firmly in place. In the Phoenician homeland, members of the royal family were buried in similar coffins, often re-using ones brought over from Egypt. They would have inscriptions written on the lids to curse anyone who disturbed their eternal sleep. © Tony Blood - Phoenician Coffin. The National Museum of Archaeology. Valletta Malta, 25 August 2014

The Phoenicians buried their dead in a variety of ways. One of these was to put the corpse inside a coffin. Fashioned in wood, terracotta stone, stone, and marble, coffins consisted of a casket and a lid, and were often shaped like a human figure, a practice that was very popular in pharaonic Egypt. The coffin on display here was found at Għar Barka on the outskirts of Rabat (Malta) in 1797. Lead poured inside the grooves on the side of the coffin was meant to hold the lid firmly in place. In the Phoenician homeland, members of the royal family were buried in similar coffins, often re-using ones brought over from Egypt. They would have inscriptions written on the lids to curse anyone who disturbed their eternal sleep.
© Tony Blood – Phoenician Coffin. The National Museum of Archaeology. Valletta Malta, 25 August 2014

© Tony Blood - Silver plate with commemorative dedication to Sir Alexander Ball (1757-1809) (Silver). The National Museum of Archaeology. Valletta Malta, 25 August 2014

© Tony Blood – Silver plate with commemorative dedication to Sir Alexander Ball (1757-1809) (Silver). The National Museum of Archaeology. Valletta Malta, 25 August 2014

© Tony Blood - Bronze Dagger from Għar Mirdum (Bronze and Bone). The National Museum of Archaeology. Valletta Malta, 25 August 2014

© Tony Blood – Bronze Dagger from Għar Mirdum (Bronze and Bone). The National Museum of Archaeology. Valletta Malta, 25 August 2014

© Tony Blood - Sir Temi Zammit's notebook no. 11. The National Museum of Archaeology. Valletta Malta, 25 August 2014

© Tony Blood – Sir Temi Zammit’s notebook no. 11. The National Museum of Archaeology. Valletta Malta, 25 August 2014

© Tony Blood - Human Skull from the Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum. The National Museum of Archaeology. Valletta Malta, 25 August 2014

© Tony Blood – Human Skull from the Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum. The National Museum of Archaeology. Valletta Malta, 25 August 2014

© Tony Blood - Sleeping Lady from the Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum. The National Museum of Archaeology. Valletta Malta, 25 August 2014

© Tony Blood – Sleeping Lady from the Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum. The National Museum of Archaeology. Valletta Malta, 25 August 2014

© Tony Blood - Venus of Malta. The National Museum of Archaeology. Valletta Malta, 25 August 2014

© Tony Blood – Venus of Malta. The National Museum of Archaeology. Valletta Malta, 25 August 2014

Ħagar Qim Temples | Qrendi, Malta | 20 August 2014

The temple of Hagar Qim (c. 3600 – 3200 BC) stands on a hilltop overlooking the sea and the islet of Filfla. The temple itself consists of a single temple unit, although it is not clear if it was originally constructed as a four or five-apse structure.

Other temple ruins stand a few metres away from the main temple and the forecourt and facade follow the pattern typical of temples across the Islands. Particularly noteworthy are the larger orthostats at the corners, which are notched to take the second of the horizontal courses above.

Various items of interest have been unearthed at Hagar Qim, notably a decorated pillar altar, two table-altars and some of the ‘fat lady’ statues on display in the National Museum of Archaeology.

Information from:
Web: http://www.visitmalta.com/en/info/hagarqim

© Tony Blood - Entrance to Ħagar Qim Temples. Qrendi, Malta, 20 August 2014

© Tony Blood – Entrance to Ħagar Qim Temples. Qrendi, Malta, 20 August 2014

© Tony Blood - Table Alter, Ħagar Qim Temples. Qrendi, Malta, 20 August 2014

© Tony Blood – Table Alter, Ħagar Qim Temples. Qrendi, Malta, 20 August 2014

© Tony Blood - Ħagar Qim Temples. Qrendi, Malta, 20 August 2014

© Tony Blood – Ħagar Qim Temples. Qrendi, Malta, 20 August 2014

Pjazza Teatru Rjal (Opera House) | Valletta, Malta | 22 July 2014

Pjazza Teatru Rjal, the open theatre on the ruins of the former Opera House in Valletta, was officially inaugurated in August 2013. The theatre forms part of the City Gate project designed by renowned italian architect Renzo Piano, whcih also incorporates the entrance to the city and the new parliament building. The theatre project included excavation to create changing rooms, wardrobes and space for equipment underground behind the theatre between the Church of Our Lady of Victory and Piazza de Valette. The remaining ruins of the old theatre were cleaned and restored, including the former ticket offices at the front, which until recently used to house small shops.

Information from:
Web: http://www.visitmalta.com/en/info/pjazza-teatru-rjal

© Tony Blood - Pjazza Teatru Rjal. Valletta Malta, 22 July 2014

© Tony Blood – Pjazza Teatru Rjal. Valletta Malta, 22 July 2014

© Tony Blood - Pjazza Teatru Rjal. Valletta Malta, 22 July 2014

© Tony Blood – Pjazza Teatru Rjal. Valletta Malta, 22 July 2014

Grandmaster’s Palace | Valletta, Malta | 22 July 2014

The Grandmaster’s Palace (officially referred to as The Palace) is located in Valletta. It currently houses the Office of the President of Malta and the House of Representatives, as well as being a heritage site run by Heritage Malta.

The site of the Grandmaster’s Palace was originally an Auberge d’Italie. The Auberge was built in 1570 on the design of Girolamo Cassar. This was also the house of Eustachio del Monte, a nephewof Grandmaster Jean Parisot de Valette, founder of the city. In 1571 the Auberge was purchased and Cassar was once again commissioned to enlarge it into a palace. Another Auberge d’Italie was built in Valletta which is now used by the Ministry of Tourism and the Malta Tourism Authority.

Over the years, the Palace was enlarged and developed by successive Grandmasters to serve as their official residence. In the 18th-century, traveller Patrick Brydone noted that, ‘the Grand Master (who studies conveniency more than magnificence) is more comfortably and commodiously, lodged than any prince in Europe, the King of Sardenia perhaps only excepted.’

During the British period it served as the Governor’s Palace. The Council of Government and the Malta Legislative Assembly (precursors to the present day House of Representatives) met here and it also was the first place to serve as the office of the Prime Minister.

A new parliament building is under construction as of 2014 and the House of Representatives will move from the Grandmaster’s Palace to the new building once construction is completed.

Information from:
Web: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grandmaster%27s_Palace

© Tony Blood - Grandmaster's Palace. Valletta Malta, 22 July 2014

© Tony Blood – Grandmaster’s Palace. Valletta Malta, 22 July 2014