Tag Archives: Chronology

A timeline for Maltese prehistory

As I noted in my previous post, temples do not just magically appear. I thought it would be useful to post a timeline of Maltese prehistory, thus putting temples in context. As with all timelines, this is but a broad way of categorizing things. Separately, I spent too much time faffing about with a table plug-in, clearly I’ve got quite the learning curve to deal with:-) I did find a plug in but couldn’t figure out how to erm… plug it in. So let’s do this the old-fashioned way…

First, many of the main phases are named after type sites, as is typical in archaeology – so the name of a phase often also refers to the name of a site or an area where major remains relating to that period were found.


This period represents the first human occupation of the island.

Għar Dalam: 5000-4500 BC

Grey Skorba: 4500-4400 BC

Red Skorba: 4400-4100 BC

The Temple period, when things start to change…

Żebbuġ: 4100-3800 BC

Mġarr: 3800-3600 BC

Ġgantija: 3600-3000 BC

Saflieni: 3300-3000 BC

Tarxien: 3500-2500 BC, after which the islands enter the Bronze Age.

I remind you that elsewhere in the Mediterranean, what we call the Temple Period is often commonly known as the Copper Age, but in Malta and Gozo we have no sign of copper technology and temples were built using stone tools. The next few posts (and I promise there will not be a week’s delay this time) will briefly examine each period so the reader can better place the story of the Temple people in context.


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