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1. Punic port

2. Tophet with child sacrifice

3. Antonine baths

4. Punic remains on Byrsa Hill

5. The museum

6. Building with columns

7. Theatre

8. Archaeological garden

9. Cathedral on Byrsa Hill


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Tophet with child sacrifice
Carthage, Tunisia

Carthage, Tunisia

Carthage, Tunisia

Most modern archaeologists agree that child sacrifice was performed by the Carthaginians at the spot of the Tophet, just a few hundred metres from the Punic port. At this spot, hundreds of headstones over children's graves are still standing, and in the ground one has found bones of both animals and children.
We hear of child sacrifice from both legends and Roman stories. But while these rituals most likely have been performed, they were hardly as common as claimed. It is believed that they were only performed in times of extraordinary hardship. In many cases, the Carthaginians used lambs or kid goats as replacement sacrifice, and in some cases perhaps even dead children.
The Tophet lies next to a sanctuary dedicated to Baal Hammon and Tanit, but from this, little remains.
The name 'Tophet' is not the original name, but comes from the Biblical name for sanctuaries of child sacrifice in the Middle East. We do not know what the Carthaginians called this place.
Carthage, Tunisia

By Tore Kjeilen