Mozia-Sicily

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Founded by the Phoenicians in the VIII century b.C., Motya (Mozia) has been one of the main three Phoenician colonies in Sicily, with Palermo and Solunto. Afterward it became the most important Punic centre, but in 397 b.C. it was completely razed to the ground by the tyrant Dionigi I. The town was discovered in the 17th century, with the first digging works beginning in the XX century. The ruins take the entire island of San Pantaleo, which can be reached by boat from the dryland in just a few minutes.

At the beginning of the archaeological site stands the Whitaker Museum (dedicated to the ornithologist who fostered and led the digging works which brought the site to light), with a rich collection of finds, like the Giovanetto di Mozia, a big marble sculpture of the V century representing a man (probably an officer) in a sensual pose, dressed in a suit which exalts his athletic body.

At the beginning lies the Mosaics House, a complex of two houses with flooring completely covered with black and white mosaics. Afterward begins a path which runs next to the ancient walls of the town. In the past these passages represented the main streets of the town, all leading to the gate. Left of the gate lie the necropolis and the tophet, the Phoenician-Punic sanctuary where the majority of ruins were found. Not far from the gate stretches out an ancient Punic industrial site, dedicated to the manufacture of pottery and ceramics.

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