22 August 2023, 23:02

Features of the sacrifices of ancient Carthage: coins and ashes of babies

Features of the sacrifices of ancient Carthage: coins and ashes of babies
During archaeological excavations on the territory of the ancient city of Carthage in Tunisia, precious gold coins aged 2,300 years and urns containing the remains of animals, babies and premature babies were discovered.
The researchers found artifacts near the ruins of the temple of Tafat El Boni, which at one time served as a sanctuary for the gods Baal Hammon and Tanit. The mountain location of the temple, on a hill, gave it a special mystical aura. 
The discovered gold coins are less than an inch in diameter and depict the ancient goddess Tanith. For the Carthaginians, she symbolized fertility and motherhood. This is a real treasure, reflecting the richness and importance of that era, confirms the Ministry of Cultural Affairs.
Researchers are inclined to believe that the rich inhabitants of Carthage left these coins as a sacrifice to the gods. However, it remains a mystery whether the buried babies were sacrificial offerings or died of natural causes. 
"Most of the remains found were cremated. The burning of stillborn or deceased infants required precious wood material, which was needed by the Carthaginians for various purposes,"  - comments Patricia Smith, a biological anthropologist and professor at the University of Jerusalem

Over the past century, excavations in the territory of Carthage have unearthed thousands of tombstones and urns with the remains of newborns and children under 4 years old, which some experts interpret as sacrificial gifts.

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