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Tophet Of Carthage

Carthage, Tunisia

The Tophet of Carthage

Located in the immediate vicinity of the Punic ports, the tophet is a sacred enclosure in which the Punics made sacrifices in honor of the protective deities of Carthage, Baal Hammon and Tanit. For a long time prevailed the idea, now disputed by some specialists, that the sacrificed were children immolated in acts of redemption or thanksgiving. And the site has actually delivered, in its deepest layers, the oldest, urns containing children's ashes. In the upper layers of this "funerarium", the receptacles (stone urns or mini-sarcophagi) contain animal bones.
The site consists of a tunnel sheltering the offerings still buried in the ground, of a garden where are exposed cippes and steles in sandstone or limestone which surmounted these offerings, as well as of an altar where was supposed to take place the ritual of sacrifice.

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