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Strange Cave On European Island Is Forcing Experts To Rewrite Human History

May 16, 2020

Image: Malta cave -
Normally, history isn’t one of those subjects where guesswork and rumors pass as good science according to Anthropologists, researchers, and archaeologists are supposed to be meticulous in their work, ensuring the true narrative is told. It’s what separates legend from what you read in textbooks.
But when it comes to Malta, that just isn’t the case. Investigation into the island’s history has been interrupted by grand world events and huge mistakes by researchers. Misinformation spread about the place for years, but now the record is finally being set straight.
Malta is a small island, made up of only 122 square miles. It has a surprisingly dense population of inhabitants, hovering somewhere around half a million residents. Just as dense is the archaeological and anthropological artifacts on the island.
That’s because Malta has a complex and very long past that has been mostly overlooked for a whole series of reasons. Basically, the gross mishandling of Malta’s artifacts is every historian’s nightmare.
It all began in 1917 when Giuseppe Despott found teeth during a dig in Malta. As it turned out, they were not modern teeth, but a few strays from the mouth of a humanoid species from 40,000 years ago. In 1936, J. G. Baldacchino found more.
Surly, these findings would prompt researchers from all over the world to descend on Malta and piece together the island’s rich past. But those plans were interrupted because something kind of big was just around the corner.
When World War II broke out, the investigation into Malta’s past was tabled indefinitely. Against their own will, the then-British territory was thrown into the conflict when dictator Benito Mussolini bombed the Maltese capital.
The last thing on anyone’s mind was preserving the historical narrative or artifacts of Malta. Survival was the only goal as citizens watched their island get decimated. Because of its geographical position, Malta suffered some of the worst aerial attacks of the war.
Dutch researcher Lenie Reedijk believes that there were lies spread about the history of Malta due to an inside job completed by Mussolini. There is a possibility misinformation was disseminated on purpose from one nefarious source.
When the war ended, Malta was left high and dry after enduring 150 days and nights of bombing. Massive losses of life and the crumbling of infrastructure caused the economy to take a hard hit (though the country was awarded the George Cross accolade by Britain for its services).
Reedijk has spent tons of time studying Malta and has one lingering question: “How it has been possible that this version of history has been accepted in Malta for so long is, seen in retrospect, a mystery,” she said. Historians removed the information about evidence of early humans on Malta.
Instead, opting for a narrative that the earliest humans on Malta were from only 7,000 years ago, when evidence, such as the ancient teeth, shows much earlier dates. The source of this falsehood could be even more insane than Reedijk hypothesized.
Luigi Maria Ugolini was an Italian researcher working on Malta during the 1920s. His work was funded by the state aka Mussolini, making Ugolini a fascist. His work concerning Malta became his intellectual property and was completely lost just before World War II.
When he died in 1936, his records on Malta were kept in an Italian museum where they would stay because of the turbulent political environment up until the year 2000. Now, his records are changing everything we thought we knew about the Malta timeline.
Reedijk’s research and the previously lost records from Ugolini reveal that all evidence points towards early humans in Malta. However, a series of blunders have left much of the evidence completely degraded.
For example, the prehistoric artwork that was located in a Maltese cave system. Ghar Hasan is an intricate cave system with a discreet entrance point facing the Mediterranean Sea. A claustrophobically small tunnel breaks off into many more passageways.
Eventually, you come upon a long bench, clearly made by humans. Reedijk writes of the tale involving a hiding spot for a Muslim slave many years ago. Even more important, are the paintings that were discovered. Though faded, they offered proof of early humans.
Unfortunately, the paintings have since washed away. Without proper preservation, the elements and time did their worst, causing them to disappear forever. In another case of irresponsibility so bad it’s almost humorous, a miscommunication caused history to be erased.
An ancient underground Maltese temple called the Hypogeum was built 5,000 years ago. One of the paintings on the walls of the structure was a depiction of a bull. But, you won’t be able to find it today.
Allegedly, one of the workers maintaining the site was instructed to wash the wall the bull was on. In just a few minutes, he effectively wiped away thousands of years of history. This is just one of the many missteps that has lead to a lot of misinformation about Malta.
Thanks to people like Lenie Reedijk, the confusing story of Malta is finally being untangled and aligned with the truth. Currently, a major area of study for researchers is the waters surrounding Malta, which are rich in artifacts.
Even after being war-torn, erased, and poorly preserved, the Malta history book is an incredible one. Now, it’s own republic, the gorgeous island holds the history of many different nations and prehistoric humans.

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