The sheer number of archaeological sites on the Maltese Islands sets their history apart from that of other Mediterranean destinations.
One site above all others is special to Malta – the Hypogeum, a labyrinth of underground chambers probably used as both a burial site and a temple. The Islands’ temples qualify as UNESCO World Heritage Sites and are open to the public. There are megalithic monuments, Bronze Age dolmens, Punic tombs, remains of Roman Villas and traces of prehistoric man, which defy explanation, such as the mysterious ‘cart tracks’. For three millennia, from around 5200 B.C., the archipelago was home to a unique, temple-building civilisation. Malta and Gozo’s temples are thought to be the oldest free-standing buildings known to man.