What is Older than the Pyramids of Egypt? The Megalithic Temples of Malta

Ask most people what they consider the oldest, most magnificent architecture in the world, and the pyramids of Egypt are sure to be part of the answer. Magnificent they are, but they are not the oldest. The Pyramids of Giza are the most famous monuments of ancient Egypt and the only structures remaining of the original Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Originally about 480 feet high, they are also the largest stone structures constructed by humans. They are not, however, the oldest.

What is older than the pyramids? That glory goes to the prehistoric temples of Malta, a small island nation south of Sicily. The temples date from 4000 to 2500 BC. At approximately 6,000 years old, they are a thousand years older than the pyramids. Not much is known about the people who built these magnificent structures, but academia claims that the architects and construction engineers were likely the “local farmers” who altruistically built the temples as public places of worship.

Because the Maltese temples were covered with soil from early times and not discovered until the 19th century, these megalithic structures have been well preserved. Extensive archeological and restorative work was carried out in the early 20th century by European and Maltese archaeologists to further ensure the temples’ longevity. The major temple complexes are now designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Which pyramid is the oldest? That would be the step pyramid at Saqqara. It was built during the third dynasty of Egypt’s Old Kingdom to protect the body of King Djoser, who died around 2649 BC. It was this architectural feat that propelled the construction of the gigantic stone pyramids of ancient Egypt on a rocky desert plateau close to the Nile. These pyramids, known as the Great Pyramids, were built around 2493 BC. The largest structure served as the tomb for Pharaoh Khufu.

For the best history documentaries on world-wide ancient megalithic structures and sites, see megaliths.org and the NewEarth Channel with Sylvie Ivanova

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