Franz Lindenmayr / Man and Cave
Holed Stones on Malta
Malta... "A paradise for Anglophiles"
and a "hot spot" for holed stone freaks. In June 1999 I
visited with my children this densly populated archipelago. One
of the most important sights to visit are the megalithic temples.
After a while it is a bit boring to go and see them, because they
look all very much the same. No question, they are important
because they are the oldest manmade structures on this planet,
even older than the pyramids, about 6,000 years of age.
Skorba, Ggantija, Tarxien, Hagar Qim, Mnjandra.... they have all one common feature - holes in the stones in a surprising variety. There are natural holes in the limestone blocks at Skorba or in Mnjandra, and there are many artificial holes. The are small holes, through which you can only stretch your fingers, and there are bigger ones up to a size of doors which you can use. There are holes in the stones which go through and others which don't. There are single holes and there are some in pairs.
Why are there so many holes? Certainly there is not a single simple answer. Many of the stones are nowadays for sure no more in their original position. That's why we cannot really say whether a hole in a stone pillar which is now at the bottom hasn't been in former timer i.e. at the top. The purpose of some of the holes is described as a point where you could bind your animals which you wanted to sacrifice later on. Others in pairs in the main entrance way seem to have been used to hold wooden polls which were put through, maybe to block the way to the inner chambers. There are some holes of a size which for the German psychologist Hugo Kükelhaus claimed that they were humming holes where people put their heads in and made a humming noise inside - an exciting experience indeed. One of the holed stones at Mnjandra seems to be in a position which could have been used for the observation of position of the Sun or the Moon at certain times of the year.
Who wants to read more about Malta and its caves can find more about it on my website (in German only).
Lochsteine und Durchkriechbräuche