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Archaeology - Neolithic Sites
United Kingdom (Stonehenge | Avebury) Malta and Gozo (Ggantija | Hagar Qim | Mnajdra)
Crete (Agios Nikolaos | Iraklion | Knossos | Malia)

(For Roman sites click here)

Here are some photos from our various trips to archaeological sites. This page is in no way intended to be a comprehensive archaeological resource, but hopefully the photos are interesting.

Click on a thumbnail image to see the full picture.

Stonehenge (England).
English Heritage Stonehenge site

This famous henge on Salisbury plain dates from around 2500 BC.

Stonehenge - distant view from South
Stonehenge - View from North-west
Distant view from South
View from North-west
Stonehenge - view from South
View from South

Avebury Stone Circle (England).
National Trust Avebury site

This large prehistoric monument encloses part of the village of Avebury within its circumference. It is composed of an outer stone circle and earthwork, with two inner circles. Its earliest phase dates to around 2500 BC. (It was used as the location for the 1970s children's television series Children of the Stones.)

Avebury - outer stone circle bissescted by road
Avebury - top heavy stone
Avebury - inner circle
Avebury - stone shadows
Outer Circle bissected by road
Stone
Part of inner circle
Shadows
Avebury - inner circle
Avebury - large stones
Avebury - outer ditch and bank earthwork
Avebury - outer circle
Inner circle
Large Stones
Outer ditch
Outer Circle

All the Malta and Gozo photos are scans of 35 mm prints. Simple sketch maps are included to give some context, since the layout of some of the temples is quite complicated.

Ggantija Neolithic Temples (Gozo).
Megalithic Temples of Malta site

Dating back to 3600 BC, Ggantija (pronounced "Ji-gun-TI-a") is an impressive complex of two temples on the island of Gozo, Malta's smaller neighbour. Each temple has five apses (two outer and two inner, with one at the rear). The photos were taken in 2001.

Ggantija Sketch Map

South Ggantija Temple & Boundary Wall
The complex was surrounded by a huge boundary wall which is still partially standing. The south temple has the most interesting features, including "perforated" holes that were used to close the temple entrance, and libation holes for liquid offerings.

Boundary Wall
Southern Exterior Wall
Scaffold to left of Entrance
Entrance
"Perforations" used to seal entrance
Close up of "Perforations"
Boundary Wall
Southern Exterior Wall
Scaffold to left of Entrance
Entrance
"Perforations" used to seal entrance
Close up of "Perforations"
Left Outer Apse
Right Outer Apse
Libation hole
Left Inner Apse
Right Inner Apse
Rear Apse
Left Outer Apse
Right Outer Apse
Libation hole
Left Inner Apse
Right Inner Apse
Rear Apse

North Ggantija Temple
This temple has a nice altar in the rear apse. The sheer height of the stone walls is shown well by the collage.

Entrance
Entrance
Left Outer Apse
Right Outer Apse
Edge of Door to Inner Apses
Entrance
Entrance
Left Outer Apse
Right Outer Apse
Edge of Door to Inner Apses
Door to Inner Apses
Left Inner Apse
Rear Apse (top)
Rear Apse (altar)
Rear Apse (collage)
Door to Inner Apses
Left Inner Apse
Rear Apse (top)
Rear Apse (altar)
Rear Apse (collage)

Hagar Qim Neolithic Temple (Malta).
Megalithic Temples of Malta site

The Hagar Qim temple (pronounced "hajar-EEM") dates back to at least 3000 BC. It is linked by a straight modern path to its sister temple, Mnajdra
(see below) which is nearer the cliffs. T
he photos were taken in 2001.

Hagar Qim map

The north side of the temple is particularly impressive due to the size of the large horizontal stone. Similarly the South West Corner features four very tall stones around the boundary of the temple. Both Hagar Qim and Mnajdra feature several doorways hewn from the centre of single slabs of stone, as well as smaller openings to small "oracular" chambers.

South Outer Wall
Main Entrance
Entrance Chamber - Altar and Carving
Entrance Chamber - Door to side Apse
Central Chamber - Oracular Window
Central Chamber - Looking South West
South Outer Wall
Main Entrance
Entrance Chamber - Altar and Carving
Entrance Chamber - Door to side Apse
Central Chamber - Oracular Window
Central Chamber - Looking South West
South West Outer Wall
East Wall
West Outer Wall
Road to Mnajdra Temple
Secondary Temple near Hagar Qim
South West Outer Wall
Hagar Qim - viewed from east (panorama)
West Outer Wall
Road to Mnajdra Temple
Secondary Temple near Hagar Qim


Mnajdra Neolithic Temple (Malta).
Megalithic Temples of Malta site

Like its sister temple, Mnajdra (pronounced "Im-NY-dra") dates back to at least 3000 BC. It is reached by a straight modern path from Hagar Qim, above
. T
he photos were taken in 2001, before the senseless vandalism that toppled and broke many of the stones (restoration has now taken place.)

Like Ggantija on Gozo, the temple has two distinct sections within a single complex.

Mnajdra map

Mnajdra Upper Temple & Subsidiary Building
A lot of the Upper Temple has a highly 'finished' feel with large, open areas bounded by smooth cut stones. There is an interesting carving of a megalithic temple in the passageway between the outer and inner halves of the temple. The horizontal stone over the recess at the rear has been shored up with modern pillars.

Door to Inner Apses
Main Entrance
Pillar Niche
Left Outer Apse
Inscription of Megalithic Temple
Rear Recess of Temple
Ruins of Subsidary Building
Door to Inner Apses
Main Entrance
Pillar Niche
Left Outer Apse
Inscription of Megalithic Temple
Rear Recess of Temple
Ruins of Subsidary Building

Mnajdra Lower Temple
Parts of this temple have high walls and feel surprisingly complete. Several areas are decorated; the close-up picture of the drill marks shows how sharply they're cut into the hard stone.

Main Entrance
Oracular Window in Right Outer Apse
Steps to Side Chamber in Right Outer Apse
Left Outer Apse - Door to Rear Sanctuary Chamber
Close-up of Drill Marks
Main Entrance
Oracular Window in Right Outer Apse
Steps to Side Chamber in Right Outer Apse
Left Outer Apse - Door to Rear Sanctuary Chamber
Close-up of Drill Marks
Right Inner Apse
Sanctuary Chamber looking towards Right
Right Inner Apse

Agios Nikolaos Museum (Crete)

Notable is the ubiquitous Minoan octopus decoration on jars, which became more and more stylised over time as the big tub shows.

Octopus jars
Cat
Octopus tub
Boar
Pythos
Tortoise
Sheep

Iraklion Museum (Crete)

A large archaeological museum with many Minoan artifacts, some dating back five thousand years. The famous Phaestos disc may contain early writing, or some kind of inventory. The Dolphin frescoe was found at Knossos.

Minoan bull sculpture
Phaestos disc
Dolphin frescoe
Goddess
Gryphon relief
Cat sculpture
Another octopus jar
Octopus pythos
Dagger with gold handle

Knossos Minoan Palace (Crete)

A very impressive Minoan Palace, whose impact is diminished by the very large amount of reconstruction, much of it speculative, done by the English archaeologist who excavated the site.

Original remains
Reconstructed chamber (real throne)
Reconstructed room

Malia Minoan Palace (Crete)

As complete as Knossos, but with no reconstruction done on the remains. There are some impressively complete pillars, storerooms, stairs and courtyards, including some cellars covered in deep red dust.

Model of the palace
Doorway with grooves
Cellar
 
Pillars
Steps in foreground and background
 

United Kingdom (Stonehenge | Avebury) Malta and Gozo (Ggantija | Hagar Qim | Mnajdra)
Crete (Agios Nikolaos | Iraklion | Knossos | Malia)

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last updated 30-Mar-2008

 

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All photos were taken with a Minolta Dimage F200 (4.0 Megapixel) or Nikon D50 (6.1 Megapixel) Digital camera unless otherwise noted. All photographs, illustrations and content copyright 2004-2008 Janet & Iain Clark. If you wish to use our images please feel free to contact us (do not re-use images without express permission).