Relax

     




  
...let Chevron take care of everything

Ruts and Troglodytes

Most visitors to Malta will have read about the so called cart ruts which can be found all over the island but many will find them difficult to locate, unless they stumble upon a pair or two on rocky outcrops in the countryside.
Cart Ruts and Troglodytesm, Malta

The cart ruts are sets of two parallel tracks gouged in the tough upper coralline limestone – usually around 150 centimeters apart and up to 60 centimeters deep and can run for just a few meters but sometimes for much longer than that. Some run weirdly over the edges of cliffs and some just disappear or simply peter out. Most archaeologists seem to agree that the ruts date to around 2000BC and were created by Bronze Age settlers from nearby Sicily, some time after the Neolithic Temple culture died out.

Most ruts occur in the vicinity of ancient stone quarries. Speculation as to their use varies, with some believing that sledges transporting goods over time eroded the rock and thus created the tracks while another theory states that they were made by wheeled carts eroding the limestone. Same difference really. However, up  to this day there is no conclusive explanation as to their use and they remain one of Malta’s most curious archaeological puzzles.

One place where the cart ruts can definitely be made out and not be confused with anything else is Clapham Junction, a rocky outcrop just to the south of Buskett Gardens. Clapham Junction was the nickname given by British archaeologists investigating the site, most probably due to the profusion of the ruts here resembling the criss-crossing railway lines at this busy London station. The name has stuck and the signposts from Buskett use this improbable name to this date.
Ghar il-Kibr

It’s a huge site and one cannot help wonder about the purpose of the ruts – here running riot into and over each other. A number of Punic tombs are also present on the rocky plateau as well as remnants of ancient quarries. More difficult to locate within the same site but definitely worth a look is Ghar il-Kbir - literally The Big Cave (the Maltese are not very creative with their monikers…).
Ghar il-Kbir is one of Malta’s most noted troglodyte settlement sites with people recorded inhabiting the caves from as far back as the fifteenth century right up to 1835, when the last inhabitants were forcibly evicted by the British for sanitary purposes. It’s a collection of natural and rock cut interconnecting caves placed around what is best described as a sunken central “courtyard”. It’s quite a pleasant site too, with the spacious caves retaining warmth in winter while being pleasantly cool in the summer months.
Wild Crocus, Malta

The whole Clapham Junction area is also an important garigue habitat with a generous diversity of plant life which reaches its peak in the spring. Species to look for are the beautiful wild crocuses in the winter months and a variety of orchids in the spring – not least the Maltese Pyramidal and Spider orchids, both species endemic to the Maltese Islands.

Author: Steven Bonello

Find out more about The Cart Ruts of Malta on our blog here

Popular Deals / Chevron Deals

Qawra Point Holiday Complex
Qawra, Malta

Qawra Point Holiday Complex

Apartments located in the heart of Qawra with plenty of a...
Package From
£125 PP
Plaza and Plaza Regency Hotel
Sliema, Malta

Plaza and Plaza Regency Hotel

The Plaza and Plaza Regency Hotel offers great value for ...
Package From
£151 PP
Bella Vista Hotel
Qawra, Malta

Bella Vista Hotel

A very good value 4 star hotel, well-liked by British vis...
Package From
£154 PP
Cavalieri Hotel
St Julians, Malta

Cavalieri Hotel

The Cavalieri Hotel offers chic comfort in a plum waterfr...
Package From
£182 PP
Diplomat Hotel
Sliema, Malta

Diplomat Hotel

On a prime spot along Sliema’s elegant sea front, the Dip...
Package From
£190 PP
Downtown Hotel Gozo
Victoria, Gozo

Downtown Hotel Gozo

A friendly, comfortable and affordable contemporary hotel...
Package From
£207 PP

Why book with Chevron?

Malta Specialists
Specialising in just Malta & Gozo
Local Representatives
Contactable 24/7
Great choice of Accommodation
Close to 100 holiday properties
Years of Experience
Established over 3 decades
Complimentary Transfer
On all package holidays
UK Based Office
Located in Windsor
Pay via Credit or Debit Card
Security Metrics
Great range of flights
Airports across UK & Ireland
Full ATOL Protection
Safe & secure (ATOL 1762)
ATOL-protected
Online Access
Quick and easy web access
Hassle Free Booking
We do the check in process for Ryanair & easyJet flights
Flexible Durations
Anything from weekend breaks to long stays
3 ways in which to book
Online, over the phone or come visit us!
Call us free on 0800 640 9011
logo
Our Clients
Testimonials
Just want to thank everyone who helped me with my booking! We had a wonderful time.
T Siem
18 Jul 2019
The pricing was excellent value and customer service speedy and efficient. I will be very likely to use your company again.
L Maidment
11 Jan 2019
I just want to thank you for another lovely holiday which you arranged for me. As usual, everything went to plan, and I had a lovely time.
P Topham
06 Jan 2019
fully enjoyed my holiday with Chevron - would recommend to anyone.
M Touhey
16 Apr 2019
My 16th consecutive year of travelling via Chevron Aug'18, and as expected, the service provided from date of booking through to arrival back home was the usual excellence.
P Howe
08 Aug 2018