Located in the immediate vicinity
of the Punic ports, the Tophet is a sacred enclosure
where the Punic people offered sacrifices in honour
of the protective divinities of Carthage, Baal
Hammon and Tanit. A longstanding assumption, now
contested by some specialists, was that children
were sacrificed to incur redemption or grace.
Indeed, the deepest strata of the site have revealed
urns containing the ashes of children. In the
upper layers of this “funerarium”
the receptacles (urns or mini stone sarcophagi)
contain animal bones.
The site consists of a tunnel enclosing offerings
that are still underground, a garden in which
the limestone or sandstone cippi and stelae surmounting
these offerings are displayed, as well as an altar
where the sacrifice ritual must have taken place.