Rent a house or a Room in Gozo, Malta
The Gozo Golden Calf (L-Ghogol Tad-Deheb)....Might it still be Buried on the Island?
Gozo Golden Calf - The Hebrews brought with them the Golden Calf together with their most precious possessions when they first came to Malta after the fall of Jerusalem.
It is written in the Bible that the Idol was made for the Hebrews by Aronne the brother of Moses. Moses had climbed up Mount Sinai to receive the 10 Commandments from the Lord and during his long absence the people had grown very restless.
To quieten them down, all the gold was gathered and melted down to mould their new god. In Egypt, whence the Hebrews had recently come, the Apis Bull was an object of worship and the Hebrews were reviving his adoration in the wilderness.
Gozo Golden Calf - Up to the year 1214 there were still 33 Hebrew families living in Malta. Though they were tolerated and allowed to have their own government 'alayma', they were reluctant to abide by the local laws and regulations and as a result they were forced to leave the island in 1494.
It is said that prior to their departure they buried the Golden Calf (L-Ghogol tad-Deheb) in a field in Gozo. From that day on, many Gozitan folk began a feverish hunt for this precious treasure and eventually, the news spread that a farmer had unearthed the Calf in one of his fields. (see Second Story below)
The king immediately sent for him but the man denied his ever finding the treasure. So he was sent to prison for the rest of his days and the Golden Idol remained a mystery to this day.
Gozo Golden Calf - There are some who still believe that when the Hebrews were leaving they embarked from Mgarr ix-Xini (Loading Place for a Galley) and that they had buried the statue somewhere on the Island.
A second story which is true and PROVEN.
Gozo Golden Calf and the Phoenician-Gozitans
According to the historian Can.G.P. Frangisk Agius De Soldanis, a Golden Calf (Gendus) was found in 1725 by a certain Gozitan by the name of Toni Pace in a cave in his fields near Dwejra. The historian even crossed over from Malta to see it. It was about 10 inches in length, in pure gold with a precious stone on its forehead set on a pedestal also of pure gold.
His theory is based on the Phoenician-Gozitan adoration of their God Ercole. To them Ercole was the supreme Lord of the Island and they entreated Him to protect them on their voyages in the perilous Mediterranean sea.
One of the god's greatest achievements was the slaying of a savage bull (gendus), and the best gift that the people could present to him was a golden calf in honour of that event.
Gozo Golden Calf - Calves and bulls were very important symbols indeed in the religious cult of those days. In 1740 while digging at 'Ta Kordina', a field in Racecourse Street, Victoria, a grave was discovered containing a giant skeleton of a man and beside him the skeleton of a bull, potsherds and some coins.
Some historians wonder how a small poor island like Gozo could possess such a treasure. But, De Soldanis draws the attention of these people to the writings of Teodorus who states that, " galleys laden with gold and silver used to pass from here - auro et argento graves".
Suffice it to say that in 1612, a Gozitan Toni Vella nicknamed 'Ta Dmieghi' while digging in his field known as 'Tat Tlajfa' in the limits of Zebbug Valley in Gozo, found 33 rods of pure gold. These were presented to Grand Master De Wignacourt at the time when he was building the aqueducts to Valletta.
Source: Ghawdex bil-Grajja Tieghu (Gozo and Its Story). Translated to Maltese by: Mgr. Guseppi Farrugia Gioioso.
Return to Stories and Legends from Gozo Golden Calf
Go Back to HomePage from Gozo Golden Calf
George the "Golden Man" of Gozo and Malta.
It is thought (or better, he states) that he carries on his person and mostly around his neck about 17 kilograms of pure 18 carat gold. That's a great weight to carry around all the time and enough to smelt and fashion a new Golden Calf
Rent a house or a Room in Gozo, Malta