Cart Ruts Malta

clapham junction malta guide cart ruts

Cart Ruts Malta – the islands of Malta and Gozo are the most famous location of these mysterious and ancient paired grooves in the rock (also known as Cart Tracks).

clapham junction malta guide cart ruts

The most popular area in Malta for them is Clapham Junction (Misrah Ghar il-Kbir as it is known by the Maltese) due to the high number in total, multiple pairs beside each other for some unknown reason and that they even intersect each other in crazy spaghetti junctions.

malta clapham junction cart ruts temple builders transport maltese

There are more Cart Ruts being discovered in other countries in Europe and America.

turkish cart ruts tracks Phrygia Valley Turkey

What are the Cart Ruts?

What are the Cart Ruts? These are deep ruts, rilles, tracks, grooves, channels left in Malta’s limestone but in such numbers, variety and confusion that they leave more questions than answers.

clapham junction cart ruts malta Phoenician chariots pathways roads romans greeks

They are located all over the islands of Malta and Gozo and were even said to have been found on the tiny island of Fifla!

naxxar cart ruts malta

If they were created and used by some form of vehicle then how did they move along some of these when the pairs of ruts are nearly a meter deep?

Why? Cart Ruts mystery

Why do the Cart Ruts on the islands of Malta and Gozo lead straight off high cliffs and isolated headlands?

Dwejra cart ruts Gozo Malta tracks Azure Window inland sea San Lawrenz

Why are some of them found leading into the sea and on the seabed floor?

ghar zerriegha cart ruts malta gozo zerrieq mtahleb Ta BalduWhy do the Malta Cart Tracks areas have curious geology like the Clapham Junction Triangle?

If these apparant ancient green roads and tracks were man made then for what purpose? Why were the Cart Ruts created?

Where in Malta and the world?

turkey cart tracks Koltypin transport roads ancient ruts malta There are also other Cart Ruts locations around the world, with the internet helping othes be ‘discovered’ or brought to peoples attention. These can be similarly confusing and chaotic but some of them seem to have more substantial evidence that they were man made.

How were Malta’s Cart Ruts created?

san gwann cart tracks ruts malta islands How were Cart Ruts in Malta formed? Were they made by vehicles like wooden sleds or wheeled carts? Are they natural? Were they created for or by aliens/UFO’s? There are no records or mythology left by those who were around when these meandering paired tracks were created.

Who made the Cart Ruts?

Syracuse Siracusa Siracuse Sicily cart ruts tracks chariot Greek amphitheater roman greatWho made the Cart Ruts? Was it the Maltese Temple Builders, Romans, Phoenicians, Malta’s Bronze Age people or other original Maltese civilisation and people?

How old are Malta’s Cart Tracks and those in other countries?

Clapham Junction Cart Ruts site guide East How old are the Maltese Cart Ruts?

When were the Cart Tracks started and used? When were other countries Cart Ruts sites developed?

Cart Ruts Malta site

cart ruts malta gozo man made evidence tracks formatiion construction created formed This site investigates the Cart Ruts mysteries and has unique photo guides to the main Maltese Cart Ruts sites, with more being added.

Visit the Cart Ruts Blog for a list of all the posts about Malta and Gozo’s Cart Tracks and also those that are found around the rest of the planet.

Cart Ruts mysteries and evidence?

St Georges Bay malta underwater Cart Ruts Tracks
With Maltese Cart Ruts going off high cliff tops, Cart Ruts located on the sea floor, Cart Tracks in mass numbers intersecting each other in total chaos as seen at Clapham Junction and San Gwann Junction.

Even the Ghar Zerriegha site that appears to show defining evidence that the Malta Cart Ruts were man made is perhaps not so 100% conclusive when you consider about what is in the area and if these were formed at the same time or for the same reason.

Photo guides to Malta’s Cart Rut sites

Below are some of the unique photograph guides and investigations to the site on Malta and Gozo. These are the main sites. For a full list of our Malta photo guides click here or for those in other countries click here.

Clapham Junction

Clapham Junction Maltaclapham junction malta guide cart ruts – most famous Cart Ruts site of the island of Malta and the largest number of Cart Tracks.

Puzzling geology with perfect natural triangles and Tetris Rocks


Naxxar Gap

Naxxar Gap Cart Rutsnaxxar cart ruts malta Naxxar Gap Cart Ruts – Cart Tracks curving down the Great Fault escarpment in sweeping curves.

If the Cart Ruts went down, how and where did they come up the Great Fault Line?


Ghar Zerriegha

ghar zerriegha cart ruts malta gozo zerrieq mtahleb Ta Baldu Ghar Zerriegha Cart Tracks – Cart Ruts going off a Cliff? Where did they lead to?

Man made evidence with steps in the middle of the Cart Ruts?

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  • Joseph Lia

    This is all rubbish about cart-ruts. I have enough proof that cart-ruts have
    been used in malta up to about 103 years ago (with the last one maybe even less indeed). I am sure that I can obtain the names of the operators of the last Maltese cart-ruts in use……..

    I intend to make a documentary film at my first convenience with
    references as well about
    them showing the actual
    functions of cart-ruts

    Cart-ruts were neither made by allies, non natural and has been used for thousands of years in many part of the world.

    Whoever want to contact me about cart-ruts telephone me on (00356) 21419380
    or email adress

    I hope that I will not be prosecuted for giving this
    information as once I was even going to be prosecuted for having been about to start speaking about cart-ruts.

    • Danny

      Oh Hello,
      can you give me a short Explanation of these tracks?
      i see this and i say to me: they have absolute no function…what´s the idea behind it?

      • Hello Danny,

        No one knows. They are different for each location. Also. there are no records or mythology about them in Malta.

        Popular guesses are for transportation or water irrigation but then you get sites like clapham junction and those theories makes no sense

        The Phrygia Valley Turkey cart ruts seem to have evidence they were man made by some sort of vehicle though, so that may be indirect evidence for Malta’s and other countries cart tracks

    • C.r. Sant

      Cart-ruts were still being deepened up to 60 years ago, but ancient ones predate 5000bce. Same purpose all along.

      Bends and wall shape of a cart rut can tell you what diameter of wheel made it.

  • living101

    We have been human for far longer than our current civilization cycle. Could those have been created to place rails or boardwalks to make for smoother travel at one time?

    • i met a chap in malta and visited the cart ruts with him who had a similar idea.

      he expected to find circular depression areas among the tracks which he said would have been used as large wooden ‘turn tables’.

      we did find a few of these round areas, i think at Naxxar Gap and also Ta-Baldu. they were not everywhere but a lot of the cart ruts sites have been destroyed and you would need to be deliberately looking for them to interpret them as that.

      one of the problem with the wooden tracks idea seems to be why are some of the ruts so deep?

      perhaps they used them as normal transportation ruts to start with then when the deep groove were made and they could not use them, they then built wooden rail tracks to use?

  • geek for science

    While Joseph Liá’s comment might sound wild and unfounded I believe there is some truth in what he claims. Even if you go to Clapham Junction (where there is the highest concentration of ruts), you will notice that some are older than others. Some actually do not seem ancient at all if you look at the way they have not been eroded. Having said this most of the other ruts in the are are very old and nobody has yet explained them satisfactorily.

    • David H Trump in his book ‘Cart Ruts and their impact on the Maltese landscape’ does suggest a difference between older and newer cart ruts.

      “Ruts left by recent carts differ from these in two respects. They tend to be broader and shallower, and, unlike the ancient ones, invariably show heavy wear on the rock surface between them, left by whatever animal it was, horse, mule, donkey or ox,which drew them.”

      The wide but shallow cart ruts are also suggested to be somewhat related to quarries. This is possibly observed in some cart tracks sites like Ghar Zerriegha and Busewdien.

      After reading David Trumps thoughts on the different types I did try to observe evidence for or against it. But as is typical of the cart ruts on Malta there was no definite proof that i could find. But you do at least notice the wider and shallower ruts types and if they are near quarries.

      And then again the suggested ‘newer’ cart ruts may have nothing to do with quarries so looking for that relationship as proof may not work, but they still could be more recent. Or not.

      Obviously how you classify and date what are ancient or more recent cart ruts is an issue?

  • sevetse

    Are these not the same as those found in Ireland: “These classic kharstified exposures of tabular blocks of limestone pavement, Clints, are cut by vertical fractures, Grikes, which were widened by post glacial dissolution”

    Post glacial dissolution as widening of the fractures could be the answer to how these “cart ruts” were made.

    • Those are amazingly straight lines for nature, limestone does seem to be one natural material that can form very straight lines.

      Some people don’t think that the process of clints, grikes, dissolution etc have created the Maltese cart ruts. One reason is that the ruts do not seem to be fractures as most are smooth and usually of either of 3 shapes (narrow and deep. wide and shallow, very shallow imprints). Also that you get some pairs that go over, up, down, curving, along the Maltese and Gozo countryside for miles.

      But the Sheshmore pavements, that you have very kindly added to the discussion about how the cart ruts could have been formed, are very straight and some could be considered to be in pairs. They also seem to branch off at an angle like cart tracks can do or form junctions. They are also in limestone which the Maltese islands are made of. Similarities to Malta and Gozo’s cart tracks.

      Perhaps Malta’s limestone was fractured and had dissolution, then erosion or ancient man has smoothed limestone fractures into those shapes and could have extended the length of some of these grooves? Perhaps for some form of transportation network or for irrigation as one other comment has suggested?

      Certainly an interesting idea about the origin of Malta’s cart ruts that should be investigated further. A geologist may be able to shed light onto this theory?

    • Parkinson1963

      See the answer above. They also occur on Manitoulin island in ontario

      • Thanks for sharing that location. Having a quick look I found these photos of interesting limestone lines which I think are from around there (Murphy Point and Meldrum Bay on Manitoulin island in Ontario, Canada).

    • While looking for those Canadian limestone lines that Parkinson1963 mentioned I found this limestone pavement in Malham, Yorkshire, England from the photography site by David Armitage

      This really is limestone crazy paving.

  • chris

    What if these cart ruts are no more or less then a draining system. It’s no mystery that Greece and Rome had running water, and what if these where like a first draft… Just think about it non biasedly for a minute it could explain why they are all over the world because of high and low tides that’s why they reach all the way into the sea bed. And that’s why they run straight off of Cliff sides. Just an idea I have no credentials for any kind of scientific background just an enthusiast

    • The joy of the cart tracks mystery is that everyone is as much an expert as the next person 🙂 Perhaps those with no preconceived theories can shed more light and truth than those unintentionally biased to certain ideas?

      Malta has fantastic weather, over 300 days of sunshine per year. But when it rains it is torrential, with countryside and roads becoming rivers of rainwater and flooding in areas.

      Also, due to some very puzzling Malta geology features that geologists say can only be caused by constant large rivers of water over very long periods – that Malta does not seem to have recently experienced – I read some where that they suggest Malta did not have an Ice Age or period of glaciation but instead had a Rain Age.

      So your idea about the cart ruts being a drainage system could be the answer that the Maltese history and geology experts come to agree on for the purpose and origin of the Maltese islands cart ruts.

  • MetalsGuy

    I used to live In the San Gwan area, on Tal-Mensija Road. I spent many hours as a child playing in the area. I don’t know their function, but can see that much of the area has now been built on, and the “track” area has been considerably reduced. It is a shame that more study was not done earlier, Good aerial maps and chemical analysis of the “tracks” may yet yield information. The fact that some of these ‘tracks” extend into the sea tells me that they were built when the sea level was a lot lower than it is today. Truly ancient!

  • Dorian Sid Turner

    My Opinion on these car ruts is that since Malta is an arid land they might be an irrigation system to make the soil fertile and no flying geese where involved 😛 . As the pictures clearly show , inside the ruts is more greener than the outside rocks , for me its means there was running water and how the ruts where cut you have to go to the story of Solomon’s temple .

    • Thanks! Having photographed and walked over them for years I had not really thought about the vegetation in them from a practical perspective.

      From a photography point of view there are a lot of images with greenery as the Maltese winter really shows up the depths and directions of the lines. In summer Malta is very dry and most small vegetation dies. Making it much harder to see what the ruts look like. Only Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun

      Others have suggested that the cart ruts are for large scale irrigation. I have previously been against that theory because the structure of some ruts, the location and visual evidence from certain sites or very long solitary pairs seems to be against it. My thinking was where were the fields or areas irrigating and growing plants?

      But your comment shows that (some/all?) cart ruts could have been used by themselves for their own irrigation, either as the primary reason or as an after effect. A ood self sufficient eco system and ‘garden boxes’ or ‘garden ruts’ in this case?

      The ruts are a perfect place to trap the scarce Malta top soil and Saharah desert sand. Also protecting young plants from the hot and strong trade winds that bring the sand and arid summer conditions.

      Could your irrigation theory explain the cart tracks madness that is the Clapham Junction area?

      • Dorian Sid Turner

        Haven’t been there for ages but I’ll make an effort and go there 🙂

  • Is one possible explanation for the origin and formation of the cart ruts what ever created these grooves in limestone?

    These tracks are said to be glacial grooves and are found on Kelleys Island, Ohio, USA (Glacial Grooves Geological Preserve)

    I believe that according to geology or science theory the islands of Malta and Giozo never had or ere physically part of the last Ice Age with glaciers? I am not sure though if geology theory suggests it never was effected by any Ice Ages through glacial action etc?

  • Chris Micallef

    Hello any email contacts for this website please?

  • Roger R

    Ruts could be carved in the stone , and filled up with mud or clay layers at the start of the dry season, creating a smooth and solid surface on which classic wheeled carts can circulate. In the rainy season the traffic would stop and the repairs or modifications wouldl take place. This hypothesis would resolve the dilemma of the “impossible” usage of wheeled carts