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Few other etymological mentions appear in classical literature, with the term _Malta_ appearing in its present form in the _ Antonine Itinerary _ (Itin. Around the time of 3500 BCE, these people built some of the oldest existing free-standing structures in the world in the form of the megalithic Ġgantija temples on Gozo ; other early temples include those at Ħaġar Qim and Mnajdra . * ^ Mediterranean migrants: Hundreds feared dead after boat capsizes.
The temples have distinctive architecture, typically a complex trefoil design, and were used from 4000 to 2500 BCE.
After 2500 BCE, the Maltese Islands were depopulated for several decades until the arrival of a new influx of Bronze Age immigrants, a culture that cremated its dead and introduced smaller megalithic structures called dolmens to Malta.
In most cases there are small chambers here, with the cover made of a large slab placed on upright stones. * ^ "Frendo holds talks with three European Union Commission Members" (PDF) (Press release).
Animal bones and a knife found behind a removable altar stone suggest that temple rituals included animal sacrifice . * ^ "Statement by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr.
Under the Malta Independence Act, passed by the British Parliament in 1964, Malta gained independence from the United Kingdom as an independent sovereign Commonwealth realm , officially known from 1964 to 1974 as the State of Malta , with Elizabeth II as its head of state. GREEKS, PHOENICIANS, CARTHAGINIANS AND ROMANS See also: Magna Graecia , Phoenicia , Cippi of Melqart , Ancient Rome , Sicilia (Roman province) , and Byzantine Empire Phoenician traders colonised the islands sometime after 1,000 BCE as a stop on their trade routes from the eastern Mediterranean to Cornwall , joining the natives on the island. * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ Vassallo, Harry (8 April 2009) A map of faith in Malta. Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor , United States Department of State . The Phoenicians inhabited the area now known as Mdina , and its surrounding town of Rabat , which they called _Maleth _. Malta has one national language , which is Maltese , and English as an official language. Malta's location in the middle of the Mediterranean has historically given it great strategic importance as a naval base, and a succession of powers, including the Phoenicians , Carthaginians , Greeks , Romans , Byzantines , Moors , Normans , Sicilians , Spanish , Knights of St. "Passport King Christian Kalin Helps Nations Sell Citizenship – Bloomberg Business".