Re-Opening of Hal Saflieni Hypogeum

After being closed for a number of months due to major conservation works, the Hal Saflieni Hypogeum will once again reopen its doors to the public on May 15.

The Hal Salfieni Hypogeum is an underground prehistoric burial site. It was discovered in 1902 during construction works. It is made up of a series of interconnecting rock-cut chambers set on three distinct levels. During excavation works, remains were found which date back to around 4000BC and it is believed that the complex was used over a number of centuries, up to around 2500BC.

There are many legends and myths about the Hypogeum and the remains that were found there. One states that a group of schoolchildren went missing in the underground chambers a couple of decades after it was discovered. The children's corpses were never found in the pre-historic cemetry, and the children were given up for dead. This tale probably served as a warning for adventurous children not to venture into the tunnels alone, rather than it being a true story. However, this did not prevent the National Geographic magazine from publishing an article about this story in 1940.

Another myth is that when the site was first being excavated, researchers found a number of alien skulls. This myth probably stems from the fact that the skulls found in the Hypogeum, were known as "long-headed skulls", this led people to believe that the skulls were in fact elongated, and therefore alien like. The skulls were initially believe to belong to "snake" or "serpent" priests, but in the 1980s others claimed that they belonged to aliens.

Whilst researching the different myths about the Hypogeum, I came across this video that talks about the story of the missing children, as well as another story about giants living in the Hypogeum. As with all information that is available on the internet, please watch the video with an open-mind, and don't take everything mentioned in the video as truth.

Do you believe any of the above myths? If you would like to debunk them, we suggest paying a visit to the Hypogeum and the newly refurbished visitors' centre which will reopen its doors to the public next month. 

If you would like to learn more about the Hypogeum you can visit the UNESCO site by clicking here, or by visiting the Heritage Malta website by clicking here


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