Just outside Birzebugga you can find the Ghar Dalam cave, Malta’s oldest prehistoric site. Evidence of human habitation dating back more than 7,000 years was found here, as well as the fossilised bones of extinct creatures such as pygmy elephants and hippos.
The museum is basically a large collection of bones and skeletons of deceased animals. For me, one ancient femur starts to look pretty much like another after a while, but the skeletons of baby hippos and elephants are pretty impressive.
As is the cave itself, when you make your way down there from the museum. Only about 50 metres is accessible for visitors, but that is enough to give you a real sense of the place, especially if you are lucky enough – as we were – to have the place to yourself in between coach-tours.
The visit just left me with the feeling that there must be countless more fossils and ancient artifacts buried in caves beneath the ground in Malta, waiting to be discovered. Unfortunately they’ve probably got ugly apartment blocks sitting on top of them by now, so there may be some treasures that will remain hidden.
Tickets: €5 for adults
Opening hours: 9AM to 5PM every day