Human skulls found at the prehistoric Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum are to be studied in attempt to uncover the mystery of their origin and abnormal shape.
In 1926, Temi Zammit described the skulls found at the prehistoric burial site as being “of the long variety (dolichocephalic.)”
Some thought they were from a culture that deliberately modified skulls, while others went as far as to claim they were from aliens.
Researchers from the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage, Malta and Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia will look into their condition and origin.
The €6,000 project entitled ‘The Sentinels of Ħal Saflieni, Malta: Science Facts versus Science Fiction’ will be funded by the Union Académique Internationale.
Associate Professor Ronika Power of Maquarie University, Sydney was awarded the funding and will work with curators of the National Museum of Archaeology and the Prehistoric Sites Department of Heritage Malta, the osteologist of the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage, Malta, and international institutions.
The Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum is a multi-level underground burial complex in Paola.
Earliest remains at the site date back to about 4000BC, and the complex was used over a span of many centuries, up to 2500 BC.