Ancient architecture like Stonehenge, Great Pyramid of Giza and others have baffled modern man. The Hypogeum Hal Saflieni, Malta is a classic example of such extraordinary architecture, the construction of which will be considered as a herculean task by modern man. What makes the Hypogeum in Hal Saflieni so incredibly mysterious is that its location. Of course, its age is something that too factors in as surprise element.
Starting with the age, this temple is prehistoric. Expert archeologists estimate the age of the Hypogeum to be nearly 5,000 years. This means that it belongs to the Bronze Age. What’s really surprising is that it is a subterranean temple. Put in other words, it is an underground temple. The temple is often dubbed as ‘labyrinth’.
Today, the Hypogeum Hal Saflieni in Malta is marked as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and according to the experts, it is the oldest prehistory subterranean temple unearthed so far. The temple is mysterious in many ways. So say that it is riddled with paranormal activities and has attracted many paranormal investigators over time. The temple also became a treasure trove of elongated skulls – possibly from an unknown race of living beings similar to humans.
However, what makes the temple really mysterious is its incredible sound effect. The acoustic effects of the temple is what has attracted experts from all around the world in huge numbers. These experts have minutely studied the sound effects throughout the temple to understand how it works and what was the purpose of the temple and its sound magnification effects.
A Bit of Architectural Details About Hypogeum Hal Saflieni
The temple has three layers. The important rooms are elliptical in shape and there are smaller rooms that are all spread across three layers of the temple. These rooms can be accessed using different doors and corridors. The important rooms are way different than the smaller ones in their construction. These important rooms are given domed vaulting. They also have false bays with very elaborate construction. These false bays are all constructed in a way that we find in windows and doors of today’s constructions that are built above the ground.
Acoustic Properties of The Oracle Room of the Hypogeum Hal Saflieni
One of the chambers in the Hypogeum Hal Saflieni is made/carved out of solid limestone. This room is known as the Oracle Chamber. This Oracle Chamber is where the incredible sound effects are found. Experts believe that the temple was the sanctuary of sorts and possibly an oracle used to live in there. According to the author of ‘Malta and its Recently Discovered Prehistoric Temples’, William Arthur Griffiths, when a word is spoken out by standing inside the Oracle Chamber, the sound is magnified by hundredfolds and it can be heard throughout the temple. He says that this effect would have been enormous when the oracle actually spoke standing in the chamber and his voice resonated and echoed through the labyrinth like a thunder. It should have been mysterious, terrifying and impressive.
What would you really feel when you hear a sound standing inside the temple? To get a picture, imagine yourself standing inside a massive bell and then it rings. You will literally be shaken as some of the sound pitches will not only enter your ears but you will also feel the vibrations right in your tissues and bones.