Darlene Foster's Blog

The Malta Museum of Archaeology

Posted on: April 14, 2017

I love visiting museums and learning the history of a place, especially one as old as Malta. The only rainy day we encountered during our visit found me mesmerized by the Museum of Archeology in the capital city, Valletta. The museum is located in the Auberge de Provence, a baroque building built in 1571, which was house to the Knights of the Order of St John originating from Provence, France. It is a beautiful place to view these amazing ancient treasures.


The Museum exhibits artefacts dating back to Malta’s Neolithic period (5000 BC) up to the Phoenician Period (400 BC). On display are the earliest tools used by the prehistoric people giving an insight into their daily lives. Many interesting pottery pieces are also on display.




This is one huge coffee mug. Perfect for a Venti Latte!

The highlight for me was the 5000-year old ‘Sleeping Lady’ from the Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum. It is a small ceramic figurine about 12cm in length and was found in a burial pit at a prehistoric underground burial place. It is an amazing example of craftsmanship from prehistoric times. Seems creativity has been around a long time.


The Sleeping Lady


I found the anthropomorphic sarcophagus from the Phoenician Period also fascinating.


Parts of prehistoric temples with photographs of the original site they were found in.  Swirls were a popular design those days.

Animals were often depicted

as were fish

Many of the goddess figurines were found headless, the heads found in another location. No one knows why.

Ancient writing unearthed in a neolithic temple.

A  rare Phoenician carving of a human

I like how the museum featured cartoons throughout the displays making them more interesting and understandable for young people.

Do you like visiting museums? I would love to know about your favourite museum?



37 Responses to "The Malta Museum of Archaeology"

Wow. An amazing museum. I like visiting museums, but I don’t get to visit many. I prefer ‘living’ museums’ such Sherbrooke Village and Louisbourg, where a small village is preserved and staff are in period costumes.

Thanks for sharing these wonderful photos.

I love living museums as well and would love to visit Louisbourg. This one was so great as the history went back so far. The Viking Museum in York England is also a favourite of mine.

Uber fantastic photos and content!

I love ancient artwork. The pieces you shared are magnificent. You are so lucky to have so many museums. You must really love Malta! I don’t visit many anymore. The ones near me I’ve visited.

The ancient artwork in this museum was exquisite. I was so taken with it. Glad you enjoyed the pictures.

I too find prehistoric museums fascinating and I love that reclining lady. Next time you are in the Dordogne area in France, make sure to visit Les Eyzies de Tayac village and museum you’ll love it and so will Amanda.

Thanks for the suggestion. You always have great ideas!!

This does indeed look fascinating, and nice that you were allowed to take photos. That big mug would take some effort to lift, but what a wonderful amount of liquid you could get in it. The sleeping woman is remarkable.

I was very happy when I asked about taking photos and they said it was OK. It was so very interesting and a good way to spend a rainy afternoon.

Looks interesting, I hope to be able to visit it someday.

You would love it, Lynn.

Did you get into the Hypogeum?

I would have loved to but it was closed to the public when I was there in March. So glad the sleeping lady was in the Museum of Archaeology.

Hello Darlene, I love visiting museums of any kind but just recently I’ve found myself gravitating towards military museums. I started researching my family a while ago and was devastated to learn that an ancestor of mine lost four of her seven sons in WW1. I can’t walk past a military museum now I just feel drawn in through the doors.

The sleeping lady is incredible I can see why you were drawn to her.

Happy Easter

There are a couple of military museums on Malta. I didn’t get to them this time but should I visit again, I will. They are fascinating as well. I can’t imagine losing 4 sons, how awful. Have a wonderful Easter.

I love archaeological museums. Theres a great underground one in Valencia you may want to check out.

Thanks, Ann! I will do that the next time I go to Valencia. When I was there in November I visited the Ceramics Museum which was also very good.

Rainy days and museums go hand in hand. Love the artwork. I took an art history class when in grad school. If I took one during my undergrad, I may have switched majors. I love history and art brings it alive.

Nice to see you here TBM! Without art, we would have limited history. My daughter loved her art history class as well.

Wow, this is a museum I definitely would like to visit. Thanks!

It was quite incredible!

Great museum Darlene….my passion for archaeology was well satiated!

You would so enjoy this museum. I could not believe the artwork created so long ago.

Beautiful! I love going to museums but don’t seem to do it often enough. The last I saw was a display of Titanic a couple of years ago.

That would be interesting to see as well. This one was quite unique and in a wonderful setting.

As much as civilization has changed museums remind us of the commonality we all have. Great post.

This is so true! Glad you enjoyed the post.

At one time I wanted to be an archeologist and I find museums like this very interesting.

So did I! I guess that is why I love these places so much. I have also been to some archaeological digs. Amazing!

Looks like a great place. We love discovering museums wherever we travel in addition to the “big ones”. Our major discoveries in the past 12 months have been The Slav Epic in Prague, Museo Ralli in Marbella and the collection of Native American Indian in Denver Art Museum. But we also go for locals too such as Corinium in Cirencester and Steam in Swindon. Just starting a series on our blog in between travels.

Nice to meet other museum buffs! Thanks for stopping by my blog. Will visit yours as well.


Thanks, Patti. Just my sort of thing.

What a cool museum! Sadly, we didn’t have a chance to make it there, but fortunately at most of the ancient sites, they had replicas of the carvings that have been moved to the museum for preservation.

I decided the museum would be the perfect place to spend our only rainy day! Thought you would enjoy the pictures.

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