The ancient settlement of Sulky,called Sulci by the Romans, was founded by the Phoenicians in the 8th centuryBC (770-750 BC) where now is Sant%u2019Antioco, in one of the islands of theArcipelago del Sulcis. Thissettlement was one of the most important Phoenician cities in the Mediterraneanarea, and even after the Carthaginian and Roman conquest it kept an importantrole dueto itsport and the trade of mineral resources. The present city shows archaeologicalevidences from different cultures, as the Phoenician- Punic tofet andthe Punic necropolis. The tofet (a special sanctuary- necropolis wherethe inhabitants of Phoenician and Punic cities of the western Mediterranean sea put babies born dead orwho died shortly after being born) is set just outside the village, at the footof a trachyte rock. Dating from the Punic age, it consists of aquadrangular enclosure built of trachyte blocks, including a smaller one whichdates back to the Phoenician age; the entire tofet is delimited by awide enclosure, built by the Carthaginians to protect the area.
A large number of urns with babies%u2019asheswere found inthe crevices of the rock, often with stone stele. The Punic necropolis(beginning of the 5th- end of the 3rd century BC) is considered one of the mostimportant in the Mediterranean area for extension and typology. It is formed byabout 1500 tombs, mainly hypogeic chamber tombs preceded by a dromos (corridor) typical of the Punicperiod, and also burials in amphorae, reserved to children, and some gravescovered with tufa slabs. During the Christianage (4th- 7th century AD) some of the hypogeic tombs were joinedopeningsome passagesthroughthe walls. These are the only catacombsin Sardinia.
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