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Ġgantija

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Michelle Jahn
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« on: October 13, 2010, 01:24:15 pm »

Excavations and recognition
Residents and travelers knew about the existence of the temple for a long time. In the late eighteenth century, even before any excavations were carried out, Jean-Pierre Hoüel drew a mostly correct plan based on that knowledge.[5] In 1827, Col. John Otto Bayer, the Lieutenant Governor of Gozo, had the site cleared of debris.[6][7] Unfortunately the soil and remains were lost without having been properly examined.[8] Luckily the German artist Brochtorff had painted a picture of the site within a year or two prior to removal of the debris, so there was a record of the site before clearance.[8]

After the excavations in 1827, the ruins fell into decay. The land was held privately until 1933, when the Government expropriated it for public benefit. The Museums Department conducted extensive archaeological work in 1933, 1936, 1949, 1956-57 and 1958-59. Its goal was to clear, preserve and research the ruins and their surroundings.

The Ġgantija temples were listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980. In 1992, the Committee decided to expand the listing to include five other megalithic temples situated across the islands of Malta and Gozo. The Ġgantija listing was renamed as "The Megalithic Temples of Malta"[9
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