Malta National Museum of Archaeology - History and Facts | History Hit

Malta National Museum of Archaeology

Valletta, Malta, Malta

Malta's National Museum of Archaeology displays a collection of artefacts from 5000 BCE to 400 BCE.

Antara Bate

24 Nov 2020
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About Malta National Museum of Archaeology

Located in the Auberge de Provence, house to the Knights of the Order of St John, Malta’s National Museum of Archaeology exhibits an impressive and intriguing collection of artefacts dating back as far as 5,000 BC covering Neolithic, bronze age, Phoenician period and others will soon be open and dedicated to the Punic, Roman and Byzantine periods. You can refer to the museum catalogue or attend one of the guided tours.

Malta National Museum of Archaeology history

The National Museum of Archaeology is housed in the Auberge de Provence, in Republic Street, Valletta. The building was completed in 1571 and served as the headquarters of the Knights of the Order of St John. Famous local architect Girolamo Cassar was involved in the design of the building. The facade is decorated with baroque decorative elements including Doric and Ionic columns. The Grand Salon features richly painted walls and a wooden beamed ceiling.

The museum was established here in 1958, displaying archaeological artefacts and paintings from Maltese and Italian artists. In 1974 the museum was reorganised and the paintings were transferred to the National Museum of Fine Arts which was newly established and the National Museum was renamed the National Museum for Archaeology. The museum is now dedicated to Maltese history during the Bronze Age, Punic, Antique, Arabic and Medieval periods.

The museum was refurbished and upgraded in 1998. Artefacts were placed in climate-controlled displays so that the exhibition met with current conservation standards.

Malta National Museum of Archaeology today

The Museum exhibits a spectacular range of artefacts providing visitors with a comprehensive introduction to the early history of Malta. The earliest tools used by prehisotric people are displayed giving insight into their daily lives.

Highlights include the ‘Sleeping Lady’ from the Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum, the ‘Venus of Malta’ from Ħaġar Qim, bronze daggers recovered from the Bronze Age layers at Tarxien Temples, and the Horus and Anubis pendant and the anthropomorphic sarcophagus, both belonging to the Phoenician Period. The oldest artefacts are more than 5,000 years old.

Works are currently in progress to include other halls which will be dedicated to the Punic, Roman, and Byzantine Periods in Malta.

Getting to Malta National Museum of Archaeology

The Museum is located on Republc Street. The site is accesible by public transport and is on the 133 bus route.

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