Giardini Mon Plaisir – Charming B&B in Trapani

Mothia, The Phoenicians In Trapani

What to see in Mothia
A Walk among the Remains of the Phoenician Colony

We are in Marsala, and more precisely in the picturesque landscape of the Marsala Salt Pans, and from here we set off by boat to Mothia.

On the island of San Pantaleo, in the Stagnone Nature Reserve, lies the ancient Phoenician colony of Mothia. For the ancient Phoenicians, the archipelago of which it is part and from which it is protected, was the ideal place to establish their emporium, a centre for trade between North Africa and Sicily.

From being a Phoenician colony to a pleasant place to build patrician villas in Hellenistic and Roman times, it fell into oblivion until the interest of Joseph Wistaker, who promoted archaeological excavations here in the early 20th century.

The Kothon and the Colossus of Mothia

A water basin was present in all Phoenician ports. This suggested that this basin was a place where boats were sheltered.

Recent studies have found that the basin was never too deep, that it was also not connected to the sea and that its water came from a nearby freshwater aquifer.

The Kothon is oriented according to the Cardinal Points and the latest studies have it that during the Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox the Orion Constellation rises and is reflected in the basin. The Orion Constellation was identified in Phoenician times with the god BAAL, the main deity of the Phoenician Pantheon, whose colossus (a 3D copy) has been placed in its original location in the centre of the Kothon itself.

The Kothon and the Colossus of Mothia

A water basin was present in all Phoenician ports. This suggested that this basin was a place where boats were sheltered.

Recent studies have found that the basin was never too deep, that it was also not connected to the sea and that its water came from a nearby freshwater aquifer.

The Kothon is oriented according to the Cardinal Points and the latest studies have it that during the Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox the Orion Constellation rises and is reflected in the basin. The Orion Constellation was identified in Phoenician times with the god BAAL, the main deity of the Phoenician Pantheon, whose colossus (a 3D copy) has been placed in its original location in the centre of the Kothon itself.

The Young Man of Mothia

The Archaeological Museum of Mothia houses one of the most beautiful Greek statues in the world: THE GIOVINETTO.

It is said to have arrived on the island as part of the sacking of Selinunte in 409 B.C. It was found by chance in an uninhabited place on the island where it was buried, apparently during the siege of Dionysius of Syracuse.

It is a figure of a young man, made to be seen from all sides, probably for a temple.

Some claim that it represents BAAL or ERACLE

Withaker influence

At Mozia, nature meets the very ancient past of the flourishing Phoenician centre, the remains of which are still being studied with the excavation campaigns of several universities animating the site at certain times of the year. Here, the nobleman Josef Whitaker started building his country house in 1902 and was able to devote himself to some of his interests and passions: wine, archaeology and botany. And it is to the entrepreneur and eclectic scholar that we owe the fact that today Mothia is a unique place of biodiversity, where, in addition to spontaneous vegetation, there are species of plants and flowers from distant countries that Whitaker brought to the islet.

Withaker influence

At Mozia, nature meets the very ancient past of the flourishing Phoenician centre, the remains of which are still being studied with the excavation campaigns of several universities animating the site at certain times of the year. Here, the nobleman Josef Whitaker started building his country house in 1902 and was able to devote himself to some of his interests and passions: wine, archaeology and botany. And it is to the entrepreneur and eclectic scholar that we owe the fact that today Mothia is a unique place of biodiversity, where, in addition to spontaneous vegetation, there are species of plants and flowers from distant countries that Whitaker brought to the islet.

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