For over three hundred and fifty years, the enigmatic grooves seen etched into the exposed rock of the Maltese archipelago have engaged the imagination and critical attention of both experts and laymen. Notwithstanding the attention, the so-called CART-RUTS have received, particularly in the last fifty years, the phenomenon remains unexplained. Many rational, and some not so rational theories have been presented in explanation, but none have received universal acceptance.
The purpose of this work is to further our understanding of the CART-RUTS by supplying explanations of and answers to the many important questions arising from the phenomenon; questions which have for so long remained contentious and largely unresolved. In pursuit of this, the CART-RUT phenomenon has been studied, for the first time, from a holistic standpoint. Also for the first time, a truly comprehensive listing of presently existing CART-RUTS is presented, comprising well over four hundred pairs of ruts incorporated within over ninety sites; the greater number of which have been mapped and examined in detail. With the aid of authoritative historical information, strongly reasoned answers are presented as to the means by which the CART-RUTS were created, who was responsible for their creation, and at what time creation took place.
Considerable space is devoted to a detailed exposition of several hypotheses explaining processes by which the CART-RUTS came to be etched into the bedrock.
Updates on new-found cart ruts can be found here.