Misqa tanks / cisterns | Hagar Qim and Mnajdra Temple, Malta
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Misqa tanks - water for Temples or ?
The Misqa tanks, Mnajdra Temple, Malta - curious water cisterns or something else?
Misqa tanks - Egyptian petroglyphs?
Is this a carved symbol for Thoth, the Egyptian god of knowledge?
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Misqa tanks / water cisterns | Malta

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The Misqa tanks/cisterns are 7 or 8 curious holes/caves dug into the limestone near Mnajdra Temple and Hagar Qim Temple, Malta. At first glance and reading of information on the internet the Misqa tanks are described as large stone water cisterns, dug into the ground, by and for the Temple Builders. Although this is the most likely explanation it is not 100% fact and there are odd features about the tanks.

Il-Misqa | the Drinking Trough or Watering Place

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The Misqa tanks near Qrendi vary in size. Some of the tanks are large, connected together and some have feeder/irrigation channels. They are not all the same though.

The photographs of the Misqa tanks above show the rough stone working by, most probably, Neolithic man (Temple Builders). The limestone slabs on top of the tanks are to stop water evaporation in the very hot Maltese summers.

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The Misqa tanks (water cisterns) on the left are connected. The Misqa tank on the right appears to be isolated and was dry. Malta had an amazing "winter" in 2009 and, while the rest of Europe seemed to freeze, the Maltese were in shorts and t-shirts even over Christmas and the New Year. Then it did rain on and off for a couple of weeks.

Above and next to the Misqa tank shown on the right is Malta's Fig tree of conspiracy.

Conspiracy/Controversy - can you Fig err it out?

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The Misqa tanks conspiracy/controversy is certainly a strange one even for Malta. The following are some highlights of the person's idea and reasons for it.

In October 2000, following a detailed investigation of the site, Dr Vella said he had discovered a number of petroglyphs, which possibly linked the ancient Maltese temple-builders to Egyptian civilisation. Dr Vella also speculated that Malta was the birth-place of Egyptian civilisation. The Mnajdra temples are the world’s oldest free-standing structures, pre-dating the Egyptian pyramids. The lawyer believes that the area underlying the Misqa petroglyphs could possibly house a hypogeum as part of the Mnajdra-Hagar Qim temple complexes
Authorities give cold shoulder to claims of underground temple near Mnajdra | maltatoday.com.mt

Malta is a very small island. To make such claims against the established ideas of the peer reviewed world means Dr Vella has to have reasons to back up his ideas. He is either correct or wrong... As long as he has followed a logic path then you have to respect that, even if you think he is wrong.

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Dr Vella gave a re-interpretation of his original claims. He described the bird petroglyph at Misqa as a representation of the Egyptian god of knowledge, known as Thoth (originally known as Zehuti or Tehuti). Dr Vella wrote that the Misqa bird image has all the characteristics of the primeval god that was represented by an ibis - a long straight beak, long neck and crane-like feet. He explained that the gaze of the stone carving points to the direction of a land depression where a fig tree is located.
Dr Vella speculated: "It is well known that fig trees flourish where there are hollow spaces underground, better still in humid conditions. All this surely indicates the exact spot where a flight of steps leads one down to an underground hypogeum."
Dr Vella also said that the hypogeum might even contain the mythical depository of the Books or Records of Thoth, supposedly written on emerald tablets.
Authorities give cold shoulder to claims of underground temple near Mnajdra | maltatoday.com.mt

I believe the petroglyph image of the bird (Ibis) he mentions is the long thin line in the photograph on the left (upside down?). There are carved/cut lines coming off the top and bottom of it. The image that looks like a fluffy bird on a pole is not, I think, what he is referring to.

The farm owner of the land suggested that the straight lines might have been made by his grandfather to help capture birds to eat back in the day. The net and strings put in the grooves with water/food put in the hollow basin to attract them.

The tour was led by committee member Dr Louis Vella, who propounded his theory of the site to participants, who did not refrain from asking questions and from expressing their own views.
With his informal manner Louis made simple and understandable propositions on the various petroglyphs while demonstrating the carved symbols that surround the 'tanks' on site, and explained how an aerial view of the site made him think twice and review his theory. He also compared various symbols to prehistoric ones found elsewhere, even on the American continent. He reckons that a hypogeum lies betwixt the site, the entrance of which presently engulfs a large fig tree. Certainly what can be seen of the rock near the tree is cut by human hand and not through natural erosion. Believe at will, but certainly the reasoning by Louis makes sense, is thought-provoking and indeed makes captivating listening
Misqa tanks | ramblersmalta.jointcomms.com

It would help if Dr Vella could release further details of his ideas and research material, or if anyone else has more information on this. The farmer says that Dr Vella has visited many times so he has researched his idea. One questions is why does there need to be a bird petroglyph pointing towards that area, if they built the Misqa tanks?

Although I am not saying if Dr Vella is correct or not he has not been proved incorrect. Just saying something is not does not make it not. It is easy to prove him wrong as it shouldn't be to difficult to dig in that one area. Considering the abortion they have built to protect the nearby temples themselves. I would suggest that they also look in the corner where another, what I think is, Fig tree is growing :)

Water flows downhill... cisterns at the top?

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The Misqa tanks are said to have been dug out and located here because it is a different type of limestone compared to rock around Mnajdra Temple and Hagar Qim Temple. As the Temple Builders supposedly had no tools (but managed to build and transport the material for the worlds oldest free standing Megaliths) and needed water they used the softer limestone found here to construct water cisterns.

One of the strange features of the Misqa tanks is that this area slopes slightly downhill but most of the tanks are at the top. As you can see in the photograph above, which basically shows the site of the Misqa tanks from a sideways point of view, water collects at the bottom of the area. Where there are not many tanks. Perhaps the special soft rock does not extend down to the bottom, so the Temple Builders could not carve out large enough water cisterns.

Also, if you look at some of the Misqa tanks they do not all appear to have water feeder channels into them. Although they may fill up underground from the tanks beside them and from the bottom of the Misqa tanks area. A couple appeared to be dry even after the rains.

The need was to find some suitable rock that wasn't very far away, a rock that was free from cracks and fissures, and of a type that was not porous, so that water would not leak out of it - not an easy thing to find, by any means
..."Il-Misqa" is an almost flat area of bare rock almost at the top of a hill, which seems to make it not a very good spot on which to collect water. This strange position notwithstanding, the wells still manage to get filled with rain-water during any winter with an at least average rainfall.
...Of these seven wells, five still hold water even to this day...Although [three] of the wells don't hold water at present, they certainly used to hold water in their time.
...There is also a very curious and interesting thing to be seen at the Misqa. The wells, four of which still hold water, do not have any sealing-cover plastered on their walls and bottom. Yet one of the wells which is almost filled with rubble has its visible wall covered to the brim with some kind of water-proofing material, made up of some kind of plaster or cement stuck to the wall, and with pieces of stone, between 5 and 15 centimetres in size, stuck into the cement. This very dark, almost black cement has hardened into stone. This system of water-proofing and lining of wells is quite different from any known relatively modern one. Those prehistoric Stone-Age people must have had a wealth of knowledge about which we know very little

I only found this investigation of the Misqa tanks after visiting them. On the next visit I will check to see about the lining.

** Forum DIScussion on the Misqa tanks, Malta
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