The water-worn cave Ghar Dalam is a natural site located in 500 meters from St George’s Bay in Birzebbuga, in the north-east bank of Dalam Valley. The location’s area consists of two parts: the cave itself and a museum where various outstanding findings are collected. One will find there numerous artifacts of prehistoric development on Malta’s territories, beginning with animal bones and ending with results of the profound scientific researches in this area.
The museum consists of two large halls: the old and the new ones. The old hall was built in 1929 by Giuseppe Despott. In 1933 Doctor Guze Baldacchino made slight rearrangements and established the hall in Victorian style. Practically all the exponents of this hall show what was found during excavations of the cave. You will see there wooden boards with partially petrified bones and skeletons of some animals of the present time wildlife, namely a fox, a wolf, a deer, a bear, a hippopotamus and an African elephant. Thus, visitors would be able to compare animal life in the past and present times.
The new exhibition hall was established in 2002 by the curator George Zammit Maempel, with the assistance of the museum officer Ivan Bugeja. This hall is mostly dedicated to the history of Ghar Dalam and its formation. There you will find information about the Ice Age and its consequences for Malta. Despite Maltese territories have never really faced this environmental phenomenon, they still suffered its effects. Thus, animals, which were trying to save themselves, moved to the south and reached Malta’s location. Hippopotamus and elephants, deer and bears, foxes and wolves can be enumerated among those animals. In prehistoric times Malta was connected to the continent with land so this was one of the best and the warmest place for the animals to choose.
Except the historic exponents of the museum, you will also find there two paintings depicting Wied Dalam in modern years and in the Ice Age. These paintings had to accompany the paleontological specimens when they were exhibited on British Empire Exhibition in 1924.
So, coming to the Ghar Dalam place of interest, you will see Malta’s oldest prehistoric site, consisting of a cave, a museum with precious exponents and didactic displays, and also a garden where indigenous trees and other plants grow. Don’t miss your chance to see findings showing the remains of prehistoric animals and first Maltese human and also the cave itself with its fascinating geological features.