Agriculture has thrived in this area for centuries through terrace farming. Farmers practice terrace farming by cutting flat sections into hilly or steep areas in order to plant crops. This type of agriculture prevents water from rolling down vertical rock faces so that crops can be grown in an otherwise severe and steep environment. This growing technique helped the people of Malta to grow their food throughout history. However, when pirates threatened the area, the farming would cease; the caverns in the sides of the rock faces would then serve as hiding places for the farmers. They would climb into the caves via ladders and would then pull the ladders into the caves so that they were safe from any outside threats. The farmers would then barricade themselves into the caves with boulders and would be completely hidden.
Misrah Ghar il-Kbir (known as Clapham Junction) is near the Dingli Cliffs. This feature of “cart ruts” is a network of tracks in the rock faces. The age and function of these depressions is unknown.
Photo courtesy of Alecastorina93 via Wikimedia Commons.