Megalithic block with spiral decoration

National Museum of Archaeology, Malta

National Museum of Archaeology, Malta
Valletta, Malta

Decorated block: It has a small conical hole with a diameter of 4.5cm on the left hand side near the forward edge. This stone block, from Tarxien Temples, is the largest block to have been used as an altar in a temple. The bottom strip, which is forming a sort of ledge, is decorated with pitting while the rest of the stone has a spiral motif. Looking at photos taken during the excavation of the Tarxien Temples, back in 1917, it is evident that the ledge was below the flooring leaving only the spiral decoration visible. It is very probable that originally pitting covered this whole surface. Needing to change the decoration and possibly also the location of the stone, the upper part was hacked away, leaving only the bottom pitting, which was eventually buried. The visible face of the megalith was subsequently redecorated with a spiral motif.


  • Title: Megalithic block with spiral decoration
  • Location: Tarxien Temples
  • Medium: Stone, Worked
  • Showcase room: Tarxien Hall
  • Photographed by: Stephen Psaila
  • Period: Temple period
  • Inventory number: 14390

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