Ancient Paganism in the Maltese Islands

Ancient Paganism in Malta

The Goddess of Fertility or also known as The Fat Lady

The Goddess of Fertility was worshipped by the neolithic people. They believed they needed to thank, pray and worship for their survival to “The Fat Lady”, for food and water, offering her animal sacrifices. The ancient people believed the goddess could help in their survival with water from rain for growing crops, heat from the sun, as well as animals and birds for hunting.

The Sleeping Lady

the sleeping lady
This statuette was found in the Hypogeum of Hal Saflieni. It is made of clay with traces of red ochre, showing a figure with fat hips and limbs having a fringed skirt lying on a rush mattress, sleeping. According to research, The Sleeping lady may have been used for the rite of dream incubation.

Older than the Pyramids in Egypt, the temples around Malta are proof enough of the earliest of human civilisation. In fact they are listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Mnajdra Temple

Mnajdra Temple Clive Vella viewingmalta.com
Mnajdra Temple was built for religious purposes, animal bones were found as well as sacrificial flint knives and rope holes too. Part of the Temple is aligned so the sunlight passes through the main door way. The temple may have had the function for astronomical observation or may have been used as a calendar.

Hagar Qim Temple

Hagar Qim Temple (3) Mario Galea viewingmalta.com
Hagar Qim is another sacrificial temple within walking distance of Mnajdra temple. Hagar Qim means the Standing or worshipping stones. Hagar Qim features stone altars, water channels for the distribution of water, artistic reliefs and much more.

Ggantija Temples

Ggantija Temples (1) Clive Vella viewingmalta.com
These temples in Gozo are the earliest remains recorded of civilization in Gozo. The Neolithic people built these temples, a series of large megalithic structures, around 3600 – 2500 BC, making these temples a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Hal Saflieni Hypogeum

Hypogeum viewingmalta.com
Hal Saflieni Hypogeum is an underground burial ground in prehistorical times. The hypogeum is known for its uniqueness and rock-cut chambers of various sizes and shapes, having three levels representing different neolithic eras underground. The oldest prehistoric paintings in red ochre can be seen decorating the walls within the site.

Tarxien temples

Tarxien Temples (3) Aaron Briffa viewingmalta.com
Tarxien temples is another location where megaliths are found. The temples at Tarxien were used for rituals, showing artistic stonework depicting domestic animals in relief, altars and more. At this location stone rollers were found, which explains the movement of the stone slabs. The artistic spirals featured on some stone slabs are very common in the megaliths that represent eternity.

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