Located off the coast of Italy, this little Mediterranean island was once home to an ancient Goddess worshiping culture. The island was inhabited in approximately 5200 BC, by a highly developed neolithic people. The great temples of Malta, are some of the oldest free standing structures known, and are part of the UNESCO World Heritage sites. The temples themselves date to about 3000 BC.
There have been remains of about 50 temples on the island of Malta. In these temples, artifacts of pottery, bones, figurines of women and signs of fire have been discovered. At some point, it is said that red ochre covered some of the walls in these temples. You can imagine, in the ancient time in which these temples were used for ritual, how beautiful it must have looked. Red walls with lit candles, Goddess sculptures and statues fill the rooms, small altars with offerings, and priestesses dressed in white flowing dresses worshiping her great presence. The most famous of these temples is the Ggantija temple, with its curved walls in the shape of a woman. Very obviously a representation of a great mother Goddess.
The well known "Sleeping Goddess of Malta" figure, was found in the temple Hal Saflien. It is also said, that at the Mnajdra temple complex, some of the stones are aligned with the sunrise on the winter and summer solstices , and also the spring and autumn equinoxes.
The culture in Malta was matriarchal, and lived very peacefully for many years. At some point around 2300 BC, the temples were mysteriously abandoned. Later, in around 2000 BC the island was inhabited by a bronze age culture.
The ancient peoples and temples of Malta fascinate me. Thanks to archaeologists like Marija Gimbutas, we have had the opportunity to learn about our ancient Goddess worshiping ancestors.
For more info on Malta check out : SacredSites.com and also Carnaval
Photo courtesy of : HowardBloom.net