Hypogeum, carved into 2.000 tons of stone, was discovered in 1902 by construction workers while working on the foundations of a building. The first excavator of this underground construction was Fr Emmanuel Magri.
He worked there between 1904 and 1906, but his notes were lost after his death in Tunisia. Magri was succeeded by Sir Themistocles Zammit until 1911. Archaeologists believe Hypogeum was used until 2500 B.C.
A doorway leads to the second level, filled with impressive carved stones in different shapes, pentagons and floral patterns in red ochre.
The deepest level consists of the “Main Room” and other rooms: the “Decorated room”(a richly decorated chamber), the “Snake Pit”(used for either keeping snakes or collecting alms), the “Holy of Holies”, and the “Oracle Room”. Researchers have made extensive studies on the acoustic properties of the last chamber.
Any sound made in this room is heard all throughout Hypogeum and can affect human emotions. But there is a lot more in this superb prehistoric structure.
Further examination of the skulls showed that, due to peculiar abnormalities, they were elongated, and one lacked the Fossa median.
There was also found a small statue of a sleeping goddess, with a snake inscription on it.
Research suggests that these skulls belonged to people with a natural genetic tendency for elongated skulls.
Until 1985, a number of these strange, lengthened skulls were exposed in the Archaeological Museum in Valletta. Today, there are only 7 skulls. The rest of them have disappeared, along with the 7.000 from Hypogeum and haven’t been recovered since then. Hypogeum first opened to visitors in 1908.
This place is full of inexplicable mysteries that remain unsolved, which makes it even more fascinating and attractive to the visitors.