Hagar Qim, Qrendi, Malta
Hagar Qim (adge-ar eem) meaning standing stones.
These are the oldest stone buildings in the world, pre-dating the Pyramids of Egypt by around a thousand years. The builders arrived here by sea in 5,000 BC, bringing agriculture and animals with them. They used the island’s limestone bedrock to build their homes and temples. Some stones weigh nearly 51,000kg and they did this without any metal tools, matching the Egyptian builders over a millennium later, in design and precision. These people were far from primitive.
The true height of the temple, indicated by the high pillar stones, was around three times the current entrance structure. The wood, painting and plaster work have long gone, but what remains is testimony to the master masons that worked here 7,000 years ago.
The priestly rituals and animal sacrifices here were aimed at a Mother God, a food provider, the essence of Earth itself. Fertility dictated feast or famine, and everywhere the feminine curves and womb-like structures embody this vital concept. The endless cycle of birth, life, death, and rebirth is all around us.
It isn’t time that separates us from these temple builders, it’s the way we look at the world. No trace has been found of weapons or warfare, their concerns were cohesion, co-operation and to be at one with the Earth, the great provider.
©2013 Tim Pickford-Jones
Standing stones at Calanais (Callanish), Isle of Lewis
Calanais standing stones Isle of Lewis. An ancient neolithic stone circle in the Outer Hebrides.