Along the southern coast of Malta overlooking the Mediterranean Sea is a prehistoric complex of sacred temples built 6 millennia ago. That’s a thousand years before the ancient Egyptians built the Great Pyramid. Some researchers consider this to be the oldest free-standing structure in the world.
Mnajdra consists of three conjoined temples: an upper temple, a middle temple, and a lower temple. Each of the temples is made from hard limestone slabs. The lower temple has an astronomical alignment so that sunlight illuminates different areas on the vernal and autumnal equinox as well as on the solstices. The artifacts that have been uncovered in the temples indicate that the temples were used for ceremonial purposes.
Mnajdra and five other nearby prehistoric sites in Malta are listed as a Unesco World Heritage site. Researchers believe that the people of this prehistoric Malta site were ancient mariners.
What a beautiful vista those ancient mariners and their families must have had six thousand years ago. If I close my eyes I can imagine myself standing at the courtyard of one of the temples. The warm Mediterranean air brushes against my skin as a I watch a small boat sail in the distance. I can hear children laughing as they play along the courtyard. Someone calls to me and I turn and walk toward one of the temples.
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