Republic Street, Valletta VLT 1112
There is more than meets the eye at the National Museum of Archaeology. Housed at the Auberge de Provence, in Republic Street, Valletta, it is renowned as one of the most elaborately decorated Baroque buildings in the city. It was constructed in 1571 to serve as the official residence of the Knights of the Order of St John who originated from Provence in France. The sheer elegance of the time is still much alive in the richly painted walls and wooden beamed ceiling of the Grand Salon.
A visit to this museum offers a spectacular range of artefacts which date back to Malta’s Neolithic Period (5000 BC) up to the Phoenician Period (400 BC). Some of the most notable artefacts are: the earliest prehistoric tools and artistic representations, the ‘Sleeping Lady’ (from the Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum), the ‘Venus of Malta’ (from Ħaġar Qim Temples), the Bronze Age daggers (from Tarxien Temples), and the Horus & Anubis pendant, together with the anthropomorphic sarcophagus, both of which date to the Phoenician Period.
The museum provides the visitor with a good introduction to the prehistory and early history of the Maltese Islands, and acts as a catalyst to other archaeological sites in Malta.
Works are currently in progress to include other halls which will be dedicated to the Punic, Roman, and Byzantine Periods in Malta.