Remains of Santa Verna temple
|Location||Xagħra, Gozo, Malta|
|Part of||Megalithic Temples of Malta|
|Founded||c.5000 BC (earliest remains)|
c.3400 BC (temple)
|Periods||Għar Dalam phase|
|Archaeologists||T. Eric Peet|
R. N. Bradley
David H. Trump
|Condition||Poorly preserved ruins|
Santa Verna is a megalithic site in Xagħra on the island of Gozo, Malta. The site was originally occupied by a village and a megalithic temple. Although the temple is in poor condition now, in ancient times it was probably one of the major temples in the Maltese islands. The site takes its name from a chapel dedicated to Saint Venera that once stood close to the temple.
Santa Verna was originally a prehistoric village, and the earliest pottery remains date back to around 5000 BC, during the Għar Dalam phase. The temple itself was built in the following centuries and it had a trefoil shape, which was typical of the time. In its heyday, Santa Verna was probably an important temple, which rivaled other major temples such as Ġgantija, Tarxien and Ħaġar Qim.
The only remains of the temple that survive today are three upright megaliths, another three horizontal blocks lining their eastern side, and the earth floor which makes it possible to see the temple's original outline.
The megalithic remains at Santa Verna were found by Nikola Said, a worker at the Public Works Department. They were also noted by the archaeologist Manuel Magri in the early 20th century. The site was excavated in 1908 by T. Eric Peet, and again in 1911 by Thomas Ashby and R. N. Bradley. During the excavations, two complete skeletons and several incomplete ones were found, including one of a child. Many smaller artifacts were also found during the excavations.
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- "Protection of Antiquities Regulations 21st November, 1932 Government Notice 402 of 1932, as Amended by Government Notices 127 of 1935 and 338 of 1939". Malta Environment and Planning Authority. Archived from the original on 20 April 2016.
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