Saflieni phase

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Maltese prehistoric chronology
(Based on recalibrated radiocarbon dating)
Period Phase Dates BC c.
(5,000-4,100 BC)
Għar Dalam
5,000-4,300 BC
Grey Skorba
4,500-4,400 BC
Red Skorba
4,400-4,100 BC
Temple Period
(4,100–2,500 BC)
4,100–3,700 BC
3,800-3,600 BC
3,600-3,200 BC
3,300-3,000 BC
3,150-2,500 BC
Bronze Age
(2,500–700 BC)
Tarxien cemetery
2,500–1,500 BC
Borġ in-Nadur
1,500–700 BC
900–700 BC

The Saflieni phase is one of the eleven phases of Maltese prehistory, the fourth of five in the middle or Temple period. It is named for the Ħal-Saflieni Hypogeum, an underground temple complex now recognised as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO,[1] which was built mainly in this period.

The Saflieni phase, from approximately 3300–3000 BC,[citation needed] is a brief transitional phase between the Ġgantija and Tarxien phases, the two main phases during which the principal Megalithic temples of Malta were built.[2]:21 Saflieni-phase ceramics may provide a useful indication of separation between the two long phases.[3]:45 They have been recovered a number of Megalithic sites, including: the top level of the remains at Santa Verna at Xagħra in Gozo; from the eastern part of the temple of Ta' Ħaġrat in Mġarr; and from the lower levels of the east temple at Skorba.[3]:45–46


  1. ^ World Heritage List: Hal Saflieni Hypogeum. UNESCO. Accessed February 2014.
  2. ^ David Hilary Trump (1972). Malta: An Archaeological Guide. London: Faber and Faber.
  3. ^ a b Reuben Grima (2008). Landscape, Territories, and the Life-Histories of Monuments in Temple Period Malta. Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology 21 (1): 35–56. doi:10.1558/jmea.v21i1.35. (subscription required).