Samuel Jay Keyser at berfrois:
Malta is not so much an island as it is the top of a mountain. Some 14,000 years ago the glacier that covered Europe began to recede. As it did, the water level of the Mediterranean rose, some 120 meters to be exact, enough, anyway, to separate Malta from its mainland. Just 80 kilometers separates the island from Sicily’s Cape Passero. On a clear day you can see Mt. Etna.
The first inhabitants reached Malta around 5200BC, roughly 2500 years before the building of the Palace of King Minos at Knossus. The oldest free standing stone structures in the world are here. They date from 4000BC to 2500BC. These structures belong to the so-called Temple period. They were not dwellings but ceremonial buildings in which god knows what went on. Orgies, maybe. Or sun worship. Or just plain old gossip mongering. We don’t know who the people were or where they came from, except that it was probably over water from Sicily.