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Birżebbuġa

POI: 35.825556, 14.528056
Birżebbuġa (B'Buġa), sometimes spelt Birzebbugia (B'Bugia), is a seaside town in the Southern Region of Malta, close to Marsaxlokk. It is approximately 8 miles (13 kilometres) from the capital Valletta, and it has a population of 9,736 as of March 2014. The town is popular among Maltese holiday makers, and it known for its sandy beach, Pretty Bay. The village is also notable for its important archaeological sites, especially Għar Dalam and Borġ in-Nadur.
Etymology
"Birżebbuġa" means "well of olives" in the Maltese language. Such linguistic evidence established early inhabitants were in the south of the island since the first millennium. The name also indicates climate and food.
History
Prehistory
Near the village of Birżebbuġa is Għar Dalam, meaning a dark cave. Għar Dalam Cave is a highly important site, as it was here that the earliest evidence of human presence on Malta was discovered. Artifacts date back to the Neolithic Period some 7,400 years ago. The display area consists of two parts: the cave and the museum, which exhibits a remarkable wealth of finds from animal bones to human artifacts. An overlaying river running at right angles formed the cave. It is some 144 metres deep, but only the first fifty metres are open to visitors. The lowermost layers, more than 500,000 years old, contain the fossil bones of dwarf elephants, hippopotami, micro-mammals and birds. Above the pebble layer is the so-called ‘deer’ layer, dated to around 18,000 years ago. The top layer dates to less than 10,000 years and holds evidence of the first humans on the Island. Experts hold that these remains suggest that the Islands were once a land bridge to continental Europe. Other remains include those of a prehistoric temple or settlement, Borġ in-Nadur, which dates from the Bronze Age. The settlement was fortified with a large stone wall, still visible today. These temple ruins are important because they reveal not only a four-apse temple (c.2000 BC), but an authentic, fortified Bronze Age domestic settlement. The remains of a large, defensive wall lie nearby, running across the head of a promontory between two valleys leading down to two bays. The wall was built facing inland. The village would have had the sea to its back. This logistic situation leads scholars to believe that the people living in the village were more afraid of being attacked by invaders by land rather than from the sea. Traces of Bronze Age huts were discovered lying just behind the wall. The depth of the deposits was very shallow, covering the remains of the Temple Period. Archaeologists have found evidence that shows that the Neolithic population became extinct and the islands were uninhabited. Archaeologists think that this could have been due to no agricultural produce, civil warfare, or the Neolithic population being murdered by war-like tribes. Archaeologists have uncovered the remains of the three apses (semi-circular rooms) of the temple. Beyond the main entrance, there...   ... (English)
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