What are Cart Ruts?

clapham junction malta guide cart ruts

clapham junction malta guide cart rutsWhat are Cart Ruts, also known as Cart Tracks? This has to be split into 2 different questions. What are Malta’s Cart Ruts and what are the rest of the worlds Cart Ruts?

Cart Ruts themselves are sunken grooves, ruts, tracks, rilles found in rock. Usually in pairs of tracks. The ruts themselves vary greatly – they can be very deep and narrow, they can be very shallow and wide and anything in between. They are found in smooth and rough rock (on Malta it is limestone).

Clapham Junction Cart Ruts site guide EastThe Cart Ruts of Clapham Junction on the island of Malta is the most famous and numerous location for these ancient features. Yet Clapham Junction does not answer any questions, only provides more puzzles and mysteries.

That is the simple answer but like the simplest questions the answer, if there is one or a million, is not answered. Why do Cart Tracks go off tall vertical cliff faces at places like Fomm ir-rih and Ghar Zerriegha? Why are there Cart Ruts in the sea? Why do you have the complex Cart Ruts spaghetti junctions like Ghar il-Kbir (Clapham Junction) and at San Gwann? Why are there different types of paired grooves?

San Gwann Junction Cart Ruts Tal-Mensija Cart TracksThe purpose of Cart Ruts are still an unsolved mystery, as there are no written, images, myth or verbal record of what they were used for.

The common thought is that Cart Ruts appear to be some form of pre history or ancient roadway system.

But why can you have such large numbers of pairs of tracks in a row?

malta cart ruts over cliff topWhy do they seem to lead from and to nowhere? On Malta they are not even associated with the massive ancient megalith structures that are found around the island. If they are ancient then you would have expected them to be created for the Temple Builders. Some Cart Tracks do go near or through limestone quarries but as the Maltese Cart Ruts use to cover a lot of the island this is not conclusive proof.

Cart Ruts used by vehicles for transporting goods?

turkey cart tracks Koltypin transport roads ancient ruts maltaThere appears to be more evidence that Cart Ruts in other countries such as Turkey, Italy, Brazil were used for the transportation of rock as building material by some form of vehicle (sled or wheels). Even that is not so simple or clear cut because where are the extra grooves or wear marks made by the humans or animals that would be needed to push or pull such heavy ancient vehicles?

Syracuse Sicily Greek amphitheater chariot cart ruts tracks roman chariotsSicily has Cart Ruts, at its famous Greek amphitheater or Great Theater of Syracuse, that ‘have’ to been made by Roman or Greek chariots entering and leaving the limestone amphitheater.