Tarxien Temples

Tarxien Temples

Consists of four attached megalithic temples built during the temple period between 3600b.c. and 2500b.c. Tarxien temples were re-used during the Bronze age period between 2000b.c. and 1500b.c.

Tarxien temples were discovered by a farmer whilst ploughing the field in the early 20th century and excavated by Sir Temi Zammit. The first temple which was built in the tarxien temple complex dates back to the earliest phase of the temple period, between 3600b.c. and 3200b.c. Only few remains are left but clearly still visible the five apse plan. The monumental entrance of Tarxien temples which leads to the third temple built is one of the most decorated in the Maltese temple period. As soon as one enters the temple one can’t miss the lower part of a colossal statue ofan obese figure, or better known as the ‘Fat ladies of Malta’ which originally stood at two and a half meters in height. In the same plan, carved animals, horned goats, sheep and pig were discovered. On the right hand side, next to the colossal statue an altar was discovered. A stone plug was removed and thirteen pieces of flint knives and remains of animals were discovered in the hole.

The central temple is the only one in Malta which was built with six apses. On the right hand side of this temple a carved bull and a sow was discovered carved on an upright slab. These carved animal symbols might indicate that food was derived from farmed animals in the area. The original carvings can be seen at the National Museum of Archaeology in Valletta. A walkway was installed just above the temples to enjoy a good perspective of the whole site.

Tarxien temples are situated in the village of Tarxien, fifteen minutes drive from Valletta, five minutes walk from the Hypogeum, ten minutes drive to Marsaxlokk the fishing village and Ghar dalam.