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The builders of a prehistoric temple in Malta must have been an advanced civilization, according to the views of Norwegian academic Tore Lomsdalen.
In his book entitled ‘Heaven and Purpose in Prehistoric Malta: Sun, Moon and Stars in the Temple of Mnajdra‘, Lomsdale brings new evidence and signs of the architecture present in the temple and its relationship with heaven. The idea is that the megalithic monuments are built so that they are aligned with the sun, moon and stars, as has been documented.
Lomsdalen has presented the evidence based on archaeo-astronomical observations, field of study that combines the knowledge of archeology and astronomy. During the equinoxes, March 20/21 and September 22/23, when sunrise, the sun perfectly illuminates the south central corridor of the temple. During the solstice, June 21 and December 21/22, sunset corresponds to the top of the gates.
The temple builders knew perfectly well which parts of the temple they wanted to be illuminated and which parts to be in darkness. The specific orientation seems to be related to ritual ceremonies celebrated during the solstices and equinoxes.. It appears that Malta had a cacique society, with a powerful priestly class and that feasts and animal sacrifices were held at particular times of the year.
The Mnajdra complex was built in different phases, spanning from the early Ggantija phase (3,600-3,000 BC) to the late Taxien phase (3,000-2,500 BC), Lomsdalen thinks that the lower chamber of the temple is the oldest part.
The chamber is a temple unto itself, with its own entrance and three altars. The eastern part of Mnajdra was built during the Ggantija period, while the northern part was built during the Taxien period. Each of the extensions of the temple were made when the light stopped entering the rooms, so the builders of the temple made new altars. The alignment of the stones with the light was increasingly complex and sophisticated with each extension.