Tarxien Temples, Southeast Malta
The Tarxien temples were discovered in 1914 by stone masons. The first of them was built around 3300 BCE; the third and final one was built around 3000 BCE. When originally built, these temples were used for worship, but after 1000 years, they began to be used as cemetaries.
Artist's rendition of Tarxien Temple interior.
Near the entrance is the skirt and lower body of a huge statue, which Maltese describe as the Mother Goddess of earth, nature and of fertility.
Maltese Temples are constructed of megaliths (literally "big rock"), sometimes weighing up to 20 tons. They were rolled into place on stone balls. These masons did not appear to have used any metal tools or wheels in their work.
Parts of the temples are beautifully decorated with spirals and dot patterns; the spirals appear to be like vines, with new tendrils sprouting regularly along their length. This is understoond to represent the continuity of life and growth.
One of many Goddess statues found at the Tarxien Temple Complex; ca. 3200 BCE.