|This site is only open to the public on Tuesdays from 11:30 - 13:00 - so would tie in nicely with an earlier visit to Ta' Hagrat if you plan carefully.
The site was noted in 1914 by Themistocles Zammit but not excavated until 1937 by Captain Charles Zammit - with only preliminary work carried out then and further investigations put on hold by the outreak on WWII. A full survey was eventually conducted from 1961 (David Trump) and showed that despite the poor state of preservation, it was indeed a very important site.
There are two temples here - enclosed by a nasty wire fence with a guard portacabin inside but a blue tardis loo outside (cheers!) - and then to the east, behind a low wall, are the remains of two huts.
Skorba has infact given its name to two of the periods of Maltese prehistory - Grey Skorba (4500 - 4400 BCE) with its undecorated grey pottery and finds of hunting implements and obsidian and flint - and then Red Skorba (4400 - 4100 BCE) with its pottery covered with a red clay slip and highly polished; however finds from the site show its use for perhaps 2000 years.
The wire fence only really encloses the better preserved west temple, and cruelly cuts through the ground plan of the east temple, leaving the red skorba huts outside and almost hidden - I'm glad I rechecked my notes and found the huts as they revealed important finds (a group of figurines, pottery and goat skulls) and were suggested (by Trump) to be part of a shrine.
The west temple has a trefoil shape, with only really the back apse and one megalith at the entrance with any height. A noteable feature is a series of libation holes at the entrance - the flooded area when I was there. Libation holes may have been used for liquid offerings, but there's also some discussion that they were used as a tethering point for animals (for sacrifices).
Skorba is signposted from the road from Mosta/Mdina to Mgarr - watch out for the square to your left after the road climbs uphill as the temples are at the end of this, at the edge of the village.
This post appears as part of the weblog entry Malta Day Trip
Posted by sals
24th January 2008ce
Edited 25th January 2008ce