A Mediterranean mystery
Was the wall that I was sitting on really part of the oldest structure on Earth? Older than the Pyramids or Stonehenge? Did I really have it entirely to myself? There was no sound in the surrounding rocky countryside, save the bees buzzing and larks singing. In the distance, the azure Mediterranean shimmered around the island of Filfla, a few miles south of Malta.
The early morning sun burnt down from a cloudless blue sky to bring out the rich golden colour of the limestone that built Mnajdra temple. They certainly knew where to site a ritual centre, those Maltese builders, 5,000 years ago. But why? And how?
Fast forward 50 years. A car park now welcomes visitors to this Unesco World Heritage site. Barriers and walkways keep visitors away. A vast canopy provides protection against erosion. A tourist bus arrives every half-hour.