Ghar Dalam

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Għar Dalam (“Cave of Dalam” (a fifteenth century family name), IPA: [aːr ‘dalam])[A] is a 144 metre long phreatic tube and cave,[1] or cul-de-sac, located in the outskirts of BirżebbuġaMalta. The cave contains the bone remains of animals that were stranded and subsequently became extinct in Malta at the end of the Last Glacial Maximum. It has lent its name to the Għar Dalam phase in Maltese prehistory, and is viewed as one of Maltas most important national monuments.[2] Pottery similar to that found in Stentinello was found at Għar Dalam, but lacking details such as stamp decorations.[3]

Dwarf elephanthippopotamus, deer and bear bone deposits found there are of different ages; the hippopotamuses became extinct about 10,000 years ago, whilst the deer species became extinct much later, about 4000 years ago during the Chalcolithic.[4] It is also here that the earliest evidence of human settlement on Malta, some 7,400 years ago, was discovered.