The Tarxien phase (3150-2500 BCE)[1] followed the Saflieni phase (3000-2500 BCE)[1] and typifies the last and most advanced period of temple building in prehistoric Malta. The Tarxien phase evolved into the Tarxien Cemetery phase (2500-1500 BCE)[2] and Borġ in-Nadur phase (1400-800 BCE).[2]

Tarxien OverviewEdit

File:Modèle de temple Tarxien.jpg

Three main temple structures and the remains of a small fourth were unearthed at the Tarxien complex. All except the last structure to be built, the Central Temple, are sited in a southeast quadrant. With the exception of the Early Temple, which dates back to the older Ġgantija phase (3600–3200 BCE),[2] the three principal temples date back to the eponymous Tarxien phase, as does part of the Mnajdra complex,[3] and represent the last of the temple structures to be constructed by prehistoric man in Malta.[4]

The Tarxien temples are noted for fine statuary, friezes, reliefs and a wealth of pottery. Animal and spiral motifs are abundant.[5] The originals of the artifacts have been moved to the Archaeological Museum of Valletta for preservation and safekeeping; modern copies take their place on site.[4]


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