Monthly Archives: December 2012
Along with the ancient temples (see prior post dated June 4), the Maltese heritage contains another great mystery, the Cart Ruts. These are unique to the islands of Malta.
There are a number of pre-historic sites that have what appear to be parallel ruts (tracks) made by carts etched deep into the limestone, some up to two feet deep. The cart theory is weak though, as any attempt by a vehicle today to move through these tracks wouldn’t succeed as the vehicle would get stuck in the tracks. And, although all of the tracks are in sets of two, parallel to one another, they are of varying widths.
There is another theory that they were made by so called ‘slide cars’ towed by animals to transport goods. Yet, this isn’t really feasible either as dragging a slide car over the coralline limestone of the island would hardly make a scratch, much less a rut, even if it was dragged for years. However, it is possible that at the time, the hills were covered in soil, not limestone, and ruts could have been carved into soil.
It is possible that these carts were wheeled yet alternatively, they could have been built before the invention of the wheel. This is unknown as there is no way of dating them. And, they would have had to have very high axles to make ruts up to 2 feet deep.
What were these tracks made from and what were they used for? Many of them criss cross each other suggesting something like a railway junction leading experts to believe that this was some sort of transportation system.
Adding to the enigma of these tracks, many of them run off the edge of cliffs. ?? Some are even found on the sea floor.
When you come to visit us, you can see them yourself and try to unravel this mystery.
Our first winter in Malta. Not what we expected. It’s in the high 50’s but it doesn’t feel that warm. It’s a wet cold, quite humid, and gale force winds for days on end. The chill goes right into your bones. Plus, remember that houses in Malta do not have central heating. Unfortunately, the limestone that the houses and other buildings are constructed of hold in the cold air in winter and the hot air in summer. 😐
It actually feels colder inside the buildings than it does outside. The space heaters that we have are gas with pilot lights, so we need to be extremely careful when using them and cannot leave them on overnight.
Malta is the only land between Africa and Europe in this section of the Mediterranean, so as the winds blow from any direction our little rock is the only place for the wind to go. Same with the thunderstorms which we are getting nearly every day now that it’s winter. And the storms are violent storms – it’s not a steady rain but bursts of bucket-falls of rain. Accompanied by very loud thunder and strong lightning.
Granted, this is nothing like it was in Connecticut so I don’t expect any of you snow bunnies to feel any compassion about this but remember, you have fireplaces and central heat! We need to go sit in the car to get warm…