Tas-Silġ is the archaeological complex with the longest history of use within the Maltese Islands. The various campaigns of excavations carried here by the Missione Archeologica Italiana a Malta, the University of Malta, and Heritage Malta have uncovered the remains of numerous temples built on the same spot.

Activity on the site started in the prehistoric Tarxien phase (3,150-2,500 BC) when a number of megalithic temples were constructed on the site. Occupation of the site during the prehistoric period also extended to the Bronze Age Borġ in-Nadur phase (1,500-700 BC).

The Phoenician – Punic period (c.8th-3rd centuries BC) saw adaptations of the temple to fit newly emerging ritual needs but the sacred character and function of the site was maintained. The small temple of Ashtarte established here by the Phoenicians was to become renowned across the Mediterranean. The Punico-Hellenistic and Roman periods (c.3rd century BC-c.5th century AD) witnessed not only further adaptations to the same temple but also extensions resulting into a sanctuary complex that included a colonnaded portico. With the emergence of Christianity in the Byzantine period (c.5th century AD), the temple underwent further alterations to meet the contemporary ritual demands. A Christian basilica was built while, on its rear, a baptismal font was incorporated in the originally prehistoric temple. Throughout these successive periods, however, the sacred character and function of the site was always maintained. Then, towards the late Byzantine period (c.9th century AD), the site may have been also fortified, perhaps reflecting the political climate then prevalent.

It was only in the Arab period (9th-11th century AD) that the site was used for burial purposes until it was completely abandoned and, subsequently, turned into agricultural land. The adjacent farmhouse was built in the 17th century in association with the agricultural activity then taking place on this site.

Tas-Silġ Archaeological Complex

Archaeological Remains

Open by Appointment

Marsaxlokk, Malta

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Getting Here

Public Transport

The closest bus stop is 5 minutes by walk. Interested in getting here by public transport?

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Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to the most common questions the Tas-Silġ Archaeological Complex. 

What remains of the various temples are the foundations, which can still tell us a lot about this important site.

Yes you can book through our concierge service.

Yes, however the complexity of the site makes it very difficult to understand without the help of a trained guide.

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