No matter how many times you visit Ġgantija there’s always something that strikes you and takes you back in time. If you’ve never visited or it’s been a long while since you set foot in the Megalithic temple it’s time to return and bask in the mystery that’s Ġgantija.
Here are 3 items on display at Ġgantija that you should not overlook. They’re not big like the megaliths but they are definitely impressive!
- The fragment of a bowl with the bird motif
One of the first things that one notices upon entering the interpretation centre is a fragment of what appears to have been a medium-sized bowl that has a bird motif etched all around. The detailed repeated pattern of the bird in flight needs to be seen to be appreciated. As a motif, the pattern is a direct reflection of the influence of nature on the craftsman who engraved it.
- The stone statuettes from the Xagħra Circle
Without a doubt, the collection of the stone statuettes carved out of limestone presenting both human and animal form is a major highlight of the interpretation centre. Discovered more recently, during the excavation of the Xagħra Circle, these stylised figurines give rise to so many questions, especially because their style can bring to mind modern artistic expression.
- The jewellery display
Jewellery in Neolithic times is often seen as an expression of a rather more advanced society. At Ġgantija, bones, shells and stones were finely carved to create a variety of different shaped pendants, buttons and beads and these were then woven or used in jewellery like necklaces. The presence of stones like the green jadeite indicates that the temple people had connections with Sicily from where this material could have been acquired.
There’s so much more to discover at Ġgantija. From the food that these people ate to the tools they used and the rituals in which they engaged, there’s a lot to learn and appreciate. Whilst the virtual reconstruction of a Neolithic woman’s face from a skull brings the temple people very close to us, the questions and mysteries surrounding the gigantic stones that were used in the building of the templates are rarely answered completely.
The Ġgantija Temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. More details about visiting the temple can be found here.