As we step further into the world of archaeology, we come across details that little by little complete this intricate puzzle illustrated by our ancient history. Scientists keep making linked discoveries that tie various regions on the globe, over periods of time that in some future may all make sense to the next generations of self-educated citizens of the world. One special and intriguing case is represented by the Hypogeum of Hal-Saflieni, a subterranean site dating 3300 – 3000 BC, that proved to be a necropolis after it revealed the remains of over 7000 bodies with elongated skulls, unlike any of our ancestor on the evolutionary scale.
The discovery took place in 1902, while the workers on a construction site broke through the roof. Like any major discovery, it happened as an accident, and luckily the attempt to cover-up the underground megalithic structure had failed.
Manuel Magri led the excavations. He was a pioneer of archaeology and a Jesuit priest, member of The Society of Jesus. Under suspicious circumstances, the priest died just before the publication of the excavations report, in 1907.
The official report described the megalithic tomb as a massive catacomb on three levels, sculpted in more than 2000 tons of rock. Its walls were ornate with various geometrical figures such as spirals, pentagons and floral themes or animal drawings.
Supporting the finding is an extract written in the National Geographic magazine in the 1920s describing the first inhabitants of Malta as a race with elongated skulls
“From an examination of the skeletons of the polished-stone age, it appears that the early inhabitants of Malta were a race of long-skulled people of lowe medium height, akin to the early people of Egypt, who spread westward along the north coast of Africa, whence some went to Malta and Sicily and others to Sardinia and Spain.” – National Geographic Magazine, January to June, 1920 Volume XXXVII.
This Hal-Saflieni site links to numerous chambers, some serving as tombs and other as sanctuaries:
- The first layer is 10 meters below the surface and consists of natural caves, later on extended artificially.
- The second layer revealed the main chamber forking into other chambers. Statues such as the intriguing “Sleeping Lady” were also dug in the first room. On the same level we have the unique Oracle Room exiting to the Decorated Room characterized by the smooth walls and elaborate pattern of spirals.
- In the same room, on the right side of the entrance wall sits a human hand carved into a stone. Next on the excavation report is a 2-meter pit with a purpose that can only be speculated: pit snake or alms collecting. Last, a special room called “The Holy of Hollies” containing three vertical stone structures known as trilithons, which were framed within each other.
- No bones were found on the third floor or any signs of human remains, but instead it is believed to have had a storage purpose for grains, water and various sustenance items.
Among all these chambers, the Oracle Chamber stands out through its remarkable features: a perfectly acoustical enhancement design, with astonishing vocal resonance. It is believed that its quality helped propagate and amplify the ritual chanting.
This effect creates a unique effect in transposing the emotional spectrum, nowhere on this planet having been recorded such a reaction. This is also the visually richest room in the entire megalithic complex, with complex red ochre spirals with circular blobs.
After a meticulous analysis researchers established that 5000 years ago, those inhabitants were short, had elongated skulls and presented anomalies that could be possible for the human race on that period, which directly points towards an extraterrestrial race that lived on the present territory of Malta, Paola.
For a short span of time, the skulls were displayed in the Archaeologic Museum of Valletta until mysteriously disappearing without a trace. The only evidence of this millennial discovery is represented by a few pictures which prove the bizarre find from Malta’s Hal-Saflieni is more than just a local legend or fairytale.
Whatever happened to the skulls we can only guess, but rumor has it that the government tailed into the matter because of the extreme importance the skulls posed.