Xagħra Stone Circle

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The Xagħra Stone Circle. By Charles Brochtorff. Watercolor, 1825

The Xagħra Stone Circle, also known as the Brochtorff Circle since there may be two Circles at Xagħra, is an underground funerary complex, situated in Xagħra on the Maltese island of Gozo. Painted by Houel c.1770, it was first excavated by John Otto Bayer in the 1820s [Brochtorff painted the excavations] and rediscovered in 1964 after Gozitan researcher Joe Attard Tabone examined a painting by Charles Brochtorff in the National Library in Valletta.

It was excavated by a joint team from the University of Malta, the Maltese Museums Department and the University of Cambridge. The excavation uncovered the burial ground of the same community which practised its rituals in the nearby Ggantija temple, dating principally to the period from 3000 to 2400 BC. The most notable discoveries include more than 200,000 human body parts and prehistoric art relating to the builders of the prehistoric Maltese temples

An earlier chambered tomb on the site dates to the period between 4100 and 3800 BC.

Later occupation of the site in later third millennium appears to be domestic.


Malone, C. A. T., Stoddart, S. K. F., Trump, D., Bonanno, A. and Pace, A. (eds.). 2009. Mortuary ritual in prehistoric Malta. The Brochtorff Circle excavations (1987-1994). Cambridge, McDonald Institute.

This article has been created by making reference to the following:

Coordinates: 36°03′N 14°16′E / 36.05°N 14.26°E / 36.05; 14.26