Ancient Phoenician city not destroyed

March 14, 2006

The ancient Phoenician city Motya, believed destroyed by ancient Greeks, has been found to have been inhabited long after that supposed event.

Maria Pamela Toti, the head of an Italian archeological team, said researchers have found cooking pans, Phoenecian-style vases, small altars and numerous other items at the site.

Those artifacts "show Motya had a thriving population long after it is commonly believed to have been destroyed by the ancient Greeks," she told the Italian news agency ANSA.

Some scientists previously suspected Motya had not been destroyed, but no proof had been found. However, early this month archaeologists reported discovering rooms of a new house at a previously unexamined part of one of the city's siege walls, ANSA said.

The artifacts found at the site post-dated the periods after the city's documented destruction by the Greek tyrant Dionysius of Syracuse in 397 B.C.

Motya -- which means "wool-spinning center" -- was founded in the eighth century B.C. The area is now the location of the modern day city Mozia.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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