The Hypogeum of Hal Saflieni

On the second level of the Hypogeum, there is an "Oracle Chamber" with a small oval niche at face level. If a man with a deep voice speaks into it, it produces a strong echo or resonance that spreads throughout the entire complex. This is because the rooms are all tuned to the same frequency of 110 or 111 hertz, which is low A in the range of a male baritone voice.

As William Arthur Griffiths described it, "A word spoken in this room is magnified a hundredfold and is audible throughout the entire structure. The effect upon the credulous can be imagined when the oracle spoke and the words came thundering forth through the dark and mysterious place with terrifying impressiveness."

As mentioned in my last post about Solomon's temple and similar buildings (link in comments), the frequency of 110Hz is consistent with research published in 1996 by the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research group, which found that some ancient megalithic chambers in the U.K. and Ireland also sustained a strong resonance at a frequency of between 95 and 120 hertz. My own acoustical analysis of Rosslyn Chapel near Edinburgh, Scotland concurs with this, exhibiting a resonance between 105 and 108 hertz, depending on air temperature. Frequencies near 110Hz have been found to have a unusual psychoacoustical effect.

Research by Dr. Ian A. Cook and colleagues from UCLA, published in the journal Time and Mind in 2008, used electroencephalography (EEG) to monitor the brain activity of volunteers while they listened to different frequencies of sound. They found that at 110 hertz, the brain activity suddenly changed. The section of the brain responsible for language processing became relatively deactivated, and the areas related to mood, empathy and social behavior “switched on.”

According to Linda Eneix, the president of the Old Temples Study Foundation (OTSF): “Clearly, [the early people] liked something they were getting from it and they built on what they observed to enhance it.”

One plausible purpose for the Hypogeum is as an isolation and resonance chamber to enhance meditation and focus the effects of an entheogenic communion. This is suggested by the prevalent and central use of 'form constants' in carvings and paintings. Paintings of spirals and lattices abound in key places of the temple, which could have been inspired by visions and used to help induce trance states. Deep chanting around 110Hz would have aided this process by deactivating the language center and elevating mood, supercharging the effects of an entheogenic communion.

Like later Egyptian and Mesopotamian temples, the religious purpose of the Hypogeum was worship of a fertility goddess. In 1902, a Mother Goddess figurine known as the Sleeping Venus of Malta was discovered at the entrance, which was soon followed by the discovery of other goddess figurines. Her sleeping posture may be a depiction of the trance states experienced by her followers in the temple.

According to Architect Richard England, the temples themselves appear to be the personification of the Earth Mother. With floor plans resembling maternal curves, one can easily imagine entering the "womb" of the temple for communion with the Goddess and later emerging "re-born" into the sunlight. Once again, this is consistent with the Goddess theme of 15th-century Rosslyn chapel, itself a resonant temple 'womb' to Venus.