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Originally posted by darkAngel
Hi there, the whole thing about the hypogeum is very interesting, and after searching the net for a bit i found this site. It mixes issues of UFO's and religion to explain a thoery involving the hypogeum.
2. The Hypogeum
The allure of speculation about ancient sites is ancient as the sites themselves. For example, musings about the alleged lost continent of Atlantis go back to Plato, who alluded to a struggle that supposedly took place around 9600 B.C. between the savage inhabitants of the lost continent and the citizens of Athens. While Plato's use of Atlantis is assumed to be an allegorical device in order to underscore certain political ideas, Graham Hancock's Fingerprints of the Gods (1995) invokes the Atlantis myth in the context of alternative history, melding New Age mysticism with pseudosciences like astrology and Procrustean distortions of such traditional sciences as geology and physics.
Because it is less familiar than such mysterious places as Easter Island and Peru's Nasca Lines, I focus here on a recently excavated site on the island of Malta, the Hypogeum, an extensive underground labyrinth allegedly constructed during the Chalcolithic period (Copper Age) around 4000 B.C. Excavations began in 1905 but not until the 1950S was there enough evidence to arouse speculation about the original builders of the site, its purpose, and eventual abandonment.
Only a limited number of tourists are allowed to visit; I was fortunate enough to be one of those visitors in the fall of 2001. Despite temptations to assert a gallimaufry of "truths" about the Hypogeum, a booklet I purchased repeatedly stresses the tentative nature of nearly all claims about the place. Indeed the author warns that at times he has inserted personal suggestions into the text, conjectures that might help assuage a visitor's curiosity as he wanders from room to room.
A major mystery of the Hypogeum concerns its original purpose. Presumably it was created as a set of interconnected tombs that gradually became larger burial chambers. One of these chambers eventually became a temple that tried to replicate underground the above ground megalithic temples built at the time. These temples, including the nearby Tarxien complex, have been dated through dendrochronology and radiocarbon analysis of pottery remains found inside various temples.
But given the likelihood that the Hypogeum was originally used for communal burials, many mysteries persist. Why were the bones of the dead placed there and in other underground chambers in the first place? Out of fear or respect or both? Whose bones were so honored? And for how long?
Particularly suffused with mystery is the Oracle Room, which one reaches by descending three steps from the Hypogeum's middle floor. Numerous chambers were dug out from the walls of this room, and during excavation skeletal remains that had spilled out from these adjoining chambers were found throughout. But most remarkable are the two large holes in the walls and the red ocher spiral designs.
One conjecture is that the designs depict a tree of life, red discs representing fruit as a source of nourishment for the dead. From there some scholars have conjectured that various fertility cults held sway, carrying out rituals of birth in the context of death. That possibility has led to speculation about a proto-feminist influence, even to the possibility that the Hypogeum was, at least at some point in its history, a place reserved for women, the oracle holes ritually linked with transmission of matriarchal wisdom. Likely we will never achieve a definitive solution to the puzzle of the holes and designs.