/ / The island of Mothia: photos, description (Mozia)

The island of Mothia: photos, description (Mozia)

Mozia is a small island with an area of just 45 hectares, is part of the protected archipelago of the Stagnone nature reserve in the province of Trapani. In the 12th century BC Mozia was an important trading post for Phoenician merchants and sailors, as well as their commercial base and kind of handling jetty. In 397 BC, the settlement of the island was destroyed by Dionysius of Syracuse, and next year the Mozia was conquered by the Carthaginians. But by the time the island lost its importance and with the exception of isolated settlements during the Hellenistic and Roman periods was abandoned. The traces of those settlements came to us in the form of ruins of several villas.

In the 17-18 centuries in the territory of Mochi archaeological excavations were conducted, and in the early 20th century the entire island was bought by Joseph Whitaker, archaeologist and heir to the British family that lived in Sicily and had made their fortunes in the wine trade. Whitaker during his excavations found a Phoenician-Punic sanctuary of Capodarco, part of the ancient necropolis, the so-called House of Mosaics and strengthening of the North and South Gates. By his order on the island was built the Museum today is divided into two parts: the old section stores the items collected personally by Whitaker, and in today's - latest find. Here you can see the terracotta items, vases, pottery, sculpture representing two lions attacking bull, and the white marble statue of Apollo, established in the 5th century BC

The sanctuary of Cappadoccia, which translated from Sicilian dialect means "big hat", originally used for holding animal sacrifices, and later was rebuilt with the addition of a sacred building.

On the North shore of Mochi is the ancient necropolis is a vast rocky area with a small pit, which once stored urns with ashes of the dead. In the 7th century BC storage bins were used the temple - the so-called Tophet of Mochi. Later it contained articles of terracotta, brought as a gift.

The Central part of the island was populated - there were traces of the perpendicular road network and Building of Mosaics, which is a two storey building with a spacious rectangular courtyard surrounded by covered gallery. On the gallery floor was paved with mosaics of black, white and gray stones - a small part of it can be seen today.

Also worth mentioning is Casermetta building constructed in front of the fortified towers, which preserved only the southern part. It stood between the House of Mosaics and the South Gate. Casermetta was divided into two parts located on each side of the open corridor, at the end of which was a staircase leading to the upper floors.

To get to Mozia is possible only through two private jetty, where ferries and boats from Sicily. With these piers, you can go to the other Islands of the archipelago of the Stagnone.