Tuesday, March 20, 2018
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Ggantija Temples - Gozo

• What about the History in Gozo ?

• Gozo’s history is shrouded in mystery and nobody knows exactly when people came to this island for the very first time. The oldest remains on the island (come to that on all Malta) is certainly Ggantija (English pronunciation: Jig-ant-ee-ya) Temples. The Guinness Book of Records states: "The oldest free standing structures in the world are now believed to be the megalithic temples at Ggantija in Gozo - from about 3,600 B.C." It is very sad that when one searches for ancient civilizations on the internet, or in a modern encyclopedia, one gets the impression that civilization began around 3,100 B.C. in Egypt. After all, who hasn't heard about Egypt's Pyramids?

Yet, Malta's civilization is more than two thousands of years older than 3,100 B.C.! We were building Ggantija when Egypt's Pharaohs' ancestors were still nomads walking barefooted in the desert! Yet ask yourself, have you honestly heard of Ggantija Temples? The chances are that you haven't.

Now dating stone is problematic because the actual dating methods that are used nowadays depend on the carbon isotope called carbon14. This means that in order to be dated with a certain amount of certainty one needs something that is either made up of plant fibre, or remains of wood such as ashes or even smoke remains on a wall if it is to be dated with a certain precision.

Since no carbon remains were found in Ggantija, or in any of the other (and later) temples in Malta, the established date that Dr. David H. Trump, who is also Professor of Archeology at Cambridge University, and the local Government’s pet archeologist, established was based on the oldest boat known to that date: Cheop’s boat which was dated to 3,000 B.C. Therefore Dr. Trump argued that people could not have visited the island before the year 5,000 B.C. simply because no means of water transport existed then – not even rafts.

Dr. Trump’s estimate of the first human arrival in these islands is a little way off on the conservative side since excavation of the Xaghra Stone Circle (Gozo’s own Hypogeum) has found that human evidence on the islands goes back further to at least 5,400 B.C. and people have crossed over from Sicily a long time before that. This means that the established and official date for the first visitors to the islands was around 5,600 B.C.

The Citadel

Now to further complicate the matter, a Maltese diver, Shaun Arrigo, accompanied by a German Archeologist, have discovered in 1999, a Stone age Temple complete with arches and avenues, built from huge orthostats (large single pieces of stone) weighing several tons, under several meters of sea-water and approximately 3 km from the present shore off Sliema, Malta. Now since nobody in his right mind would build a hut, let alone a huge stone temple plus the surrounding buildings, under the sea, this means that the temple area must have been build on dry land when the sea water was much lower. The last time that this could have happened was during the last ice age which ended 12,000 years ago!

However, we will definitely not go into this polemic and stick to the established - and official - dates that are published so far. The dates presented in next page is official and authentic:

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