Malta - Holiday facts and Information

Holiday facts and information about Malta

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Country and People

Country and People


Around about 4000 B.C. a group of late Stone Age Sicilian farming families left their island home to settle in a small group of islands to the south. They brought with them their domestic animals, pottery, bags of seeds and flint implements. They were the first Maltese. In time, these early Maltese increased and prospered and, over a considerable period of time, they undertook the construction of temples. Around 1800 B.C. the temple builders disappeared. At one time it was believed that they succumbed to an invasion of fresh migrants who exterminated, or enslaved, the original settlers and took over the land. The invasion theory cannot be entirely ruled out and still has its adherents. If there was an invasion, the new arrivals, who originally hailed from the heel of Italy, would have had no difficulty in overcoming the remnants of the original stock who had colonized the islands some 2200 years before. If the first settlers were peaceful farmers, the newcomers were more belligerent. These bronze-age pasture farmers were less civilized than the folk they had supplanted. They built no temples but re-used the older, copper-age, temples as cemeteries. The bronze-age farmers were not allowed to enjoy their islands in peace as some 600 years after their arrival a new wave of bronze-using warriors invaded the land, this time in a definite attack for conquest, and made it their home. This event took place around 1200 B.C. Imitating their war-like predecessors, they established their settlements in easily defensible positions. The last of the three ages of antiquity - the Iron Age - is represented in the Maltese Islands by the remains of a single settlement at Baħrija (circa 900 B.C.).

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