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Ghar Dalam (Cave of Darkness)

Listed under Prehistoric Archaeological Sites in Malta.

  • Photo of Ghar Dalam (Cave of Darkness)
  • Photo of Ghar Dalam (Cave of Darkness)
  • Photo of Ghar Dalam (Cave of Darkness)
  • Photo of Ghar Dalam (Cave of Darkness)
  • Photo of Ghar Dalam (Cave of Darkness)
  • Photo of Ghar Dalam (Cave of Darkness)
  • Photo of Ghar Dalam (Cave of Darkness)
Photo of Ghar Dalam (Cave of Darkness)
Photo by flickr user Glen Bowman
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On an island seeped in history, this cave is one of the most ancient sites, a Neolithic settlement from about 6000 years ago with a layered floor of fossils and bones dating back 130,000 years.

It looks like a prehistoric temple, but the cave’s current appearance is attributed to excavation work done to examine the large numbers of bones found in various states of fossilisation under the cave’s many layered floor. There are bones from prehistoric elephants and hippopotami and deer as well as the remains of more recent inhabitants. Some of the finds have been moved only a short distance to the small museum next door which also proffers some life sized replica skeletons. The really interesting thing investigations in this cave have turned up is that once the animals arrived here by land bridge and were stranded they began to shrink – becoming pygmy versions of themselves over generations.

Man’s influence came later but he was also drawn to live in the cave - up until 1911 when the last inhabitants were evicted so excavations could begin - and the oldest traces of man on Malta are the relics from this cave, pottery and flint stones.

Cave entry is gained though the museum

Written by  World Reviewer Staff.

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

how did the animals shrink

explain as simply as possible

1 Reply

Smaller animals survived longer.

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