After months of major conservation works, the Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum reopened its doors to the public yesterday.
These works reviewed and redesigned the environmental management of the Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum and also included new visitor facilities.
Tours of the underground prehistoric cemetery will still be held every hour. There will be a total of eight tours a day.
Thanks to new technology, those visitors who do not manage to book a ticket for the regular tour will still have the opportunity to explore this prehistoric site through a new immersive exhibit installed in the redesigned interpretation centre.
Seventy tickets for the audiovisual show will be available daily. The tickets are available through the same website.
The Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum, an underground, prehistoric cemetery used from around 4000BC to 2500BC, is one of the most extraordinary archaeological sites in the world.
It has been recognised by Unesco as a site that “bears unique testimony to a civilisation which has disappeared”.
The prehistoric site consists of a series of rock-cut chambers set on three levels.
Carved in the living rock, some of the chambers of the Hypogeum are very similar to contemporarily built megalithic structures.
The walls and ceilings of some of the rooms are also painted in red ochre. The preservation of the ochre paintings remains the site’s main conservation concern.
Scientific missions aimed at assisting the Maltese government in preserving the site underlined the importance of maintaining climatic conditions within it stable.
An environmental control system was installed in the 1990s, however, technological advances and an improved understanding of the challenges faced on this site have necessitated the review and redesign of its environmental management.
Tickets may be obtained online at https:www.booking.heritagemalta.org/ and can also be bought from Fort St Elmo and the Gozo Museum of Archaeology. Tickets at a reduced price are available for children, students and the elderly, while Heritage Malta members benefit from a 50 per cent discount.