The Bronze Age defensive walls in Manikata are probably the only prehistoric fortifications in Mellieħa. Apart from the defensive walls there a number of archaeological remains
In the north-east of the Manikata church there is a medium barren land called Tal-Qargħa. This land contains a number of archaeological remains mainly cart-ruts, old quarry and walls built of large stones. In the land there is a girna and in the west of the structure there is a wall some 8 metres long and in it there are five large stones. Parallel to this wall there is another wall, which has six large stones. On top of the hill there is another wall and it there are three large stones, the largest one is 0.75m length and 0.6m breath. Apart from this wall there are another two built from large stones.1
During their archaeological mission in Malta in mid 1980s the Italian archaeologists Fradkin and Anati excavated were in Malta found a large number of pottery shreds of different periods both prehistoric and historic. The oldest pottery shreds goes back to the Bronze Age Period.2
It seems that during the Bronze Age period in this area there was a prehistoric village and it was defended by several walls against their enemies. The idea of building a village on a hill and surround it by a defensive wall is a typical characteristic of the Bronze Age Period, Borġ in-Nadur. This site has evidence of hut foundations and has the longest defensive wall of the Bronze Age Period. Borġ in-Nadur wall is the best preserved prehistoric fortification in Malta.3
1 Ernest Vella., ‘Il-Wirt Arkeoloġiku tal-Qedem’, Joe Catania (ed), Il-Mellieħa: Mal-Milja taż-Żmien, Kunsill Lokali Mellieha, Malta, 2002, pp 31.
Fradkin Anati, Ariela & Emmanuel Anati (eds), Missione a Malta Ricerche e studi sulla Preistoria dell'Arcipelago Maltese nel Contesto Mediterraneo, Jaca Books, Italy, 1988, pp 196-197.
Fr. Mallia, The Prehistoric fortified sites of Malta and Gozo, p 2.
Researched and Written by: Charles
Debono B.A.(Hons) History