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Clapham Junction - A view from our expert author


Over 40 pairs of cart ruts run along the rough rock, dividing and combining, parallel and criss-crossing, disappearing and reappearing.

On the rocky plateau on top of the Dingli Cliffs is this bizarre sight: over 40 pairs of cart ruts running along the rough rock, dividing and combining, parallel and criss-crossing, disappearing (where the surface of the rock has been eroded) and reappearing. Some can be followed for many metres. You can see how the place got its name. Most of the ruts have a gauge of about 1.4m, although one pair is much wider. The most recent research suggests that these (though not all Malta’s cart ruts) were probably made for, and further eroded by, vehicles carrying stone from the ancient Punic/Roman quarries (now masked by modern fields). The vehicles would have followed the ruts across the rocky plateau to a surfaced road. The depth of the channels varies enormously and debate still rages about what kind of vehicle ran in them.

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