This museum is quite small but houses some of Malta's greatest archaeological treasures, including the Sleeping Lady. Many of these are here for preservation, taken from the original sites where they were in the open air, and replaced there with good reproductions. Outside of that context, they do lose much of their magic, but are still fascinating and in most cases, beautiful.
The exhibits are informative and raise all of the fascinating questions about the first civilization in Malta, but are geared towards adults, although there is a room for children's programs. Children without an interest in archaeology would probably get bored very easily.
If you're very interested in the prehistory and early history of Malta, I'd strongly recommend the first two books of Midsea Books Malta's Living Heritage series (available at the Museum or most bookstores in Valletta). Many of the examples from the book are actually in the museum. Also, if you're interested in more than a few sites, consider buying the multisite Malta Heritage pass here and it will pay for itself.
Don't miss the ceiling as you go in and out--the decoration dates from when it was the Auberge de Provence, one of the groups of Knights of Malta.
This is Malta's most prestigious museum, and for a country with the history of Malta it's guaranteed to be interesting. Like the island, it's pretty small, but it covers a lot of ground, from the island's early inhabitants, and the mystery surrounding their disappearance, through the unheralded Phoenicians, to the Romans and Byzantines that followed them.
The highlight is probably the "sleeping lady" and the other grossly over-proportioned statues that honour Malta's first women. But the museum also shines a light on some of Malta's best archeological sights, like the Hypogeum, the temples of Ħaġar Qim, and mysterious like the ancient tracks left in the stone at Misrah Ghar il-Kbir ("Clapham Junction").
All the famous sculptures and many other things. Interesting museum. Notice the roof when going in to the museum, it´s painted all over.
We had a great luck, because one of our favourite artists, Anthony Mucha exhibition was on right at the time!
The Archaeology Museum was quite frankly a Major disappointment for me, we paid our entrance fee and went in expecting at least some items from the History of Malta and maybe as with most Archaeology Museum's some items from around the world.
the first room was very interesting and contained many items that had been found on Malta's Neolithic temples, with models of ancient burial chambers and maps of sites. The Items from the Neolithic temples (statues and such) were really very interesting and we looked forward to seeing what else the museum had in store... Which was nothing?
That was it, you can go up stairs were in a lovely old Ballroom they have a large table laid out with a map of Valletta on it and a lot of model's and pictures stuck on it, What it was about was difficult to work out and it was very uninteresting, They should throw it in the bin and just let people look at the room which was far more interesting.
Really the €5 was far too expensive for what it was and it is only really worth half that, if you do not have a major interest in Malta’s Neolithic past then do not waste your money
A bit Crap at €5 to get in
I recommend to visit this museum to learn something about the ancient history of the Maltese Archipelago.
I thought it was better to go and see the real finds from several sites housed into this museum. The statues and the altars at the various sites on Malta are mostly reproductions.
In this "auberge" there are on display many objects found at Malta's prehistoric sites. From the Ghar Dalam phase (5200 B. C.) to the Tarxien phase (2500 B. C.)
ANOTHER FAT LADY STATUE This Fat Lady statue was taken from the Tarxien Temples. It is the remains of the biggest of this type of statue in the world.
These Fat Lady statues were believed to represent fertility goddesses.
MUSEUM OF ARCHAEOLOGY This museum is a must see,even though the second floor was closed due to renovation and expansion when I was there. Apparently these renovations started a couple of years ago,so hopefully it is near completion. On display are some of the objects found at Malta's prehistoric sites including the 'fat lady statues'. The highlight of this museum is the 'Sleeping Lady' which was found at the Hypogeum and dates back to around 3000 B.C. I had seen pictures of the 'Sleeping Lady' and I was suprised by two things when I actually saw this figurine. Firstly, I didn't realize how small this figurine was,only a little bigger than a grapefruit. Secondly,I was amazed how intact this delicate statue was.
Also at this museum,there are displays that decribe how the temples were built and how the different temples were designed. There are also small scale reproductions of the temple complexes and decorative blocks with spiral motifs that were removed from the Tarxien Temples and replaced with replicas.