An ancient legend that Hercules was once robbed of their herds. After having searched in vain for a long time, had fortunately help from a woman named Motya, which pointed to a cave in which were hidden animals. Gratitude to our hero decided to found a city in honor of the woman and give her his name. Historians have given us the story of a city founded in the eighth century BC on an island of the Lagoon no larger than forty acres that soon, thanks to its favorable location on the trade routes, became one of the most flourishing Phoenician colonies in the Mediterranean. The city was surrounded by high walls, punctuated by watchtowers and battlements semicircular, typical of Semitic, and open two doors still well preserved. Its economy is based mainly on trade and production of ceramics. It was an important naval base, and then it was built a "Kothon", a dry dock for repairing ships, which, after the largest of Carthage, is the only one found in the western Mediterranean. According to Diodorus Siculus, the city was adorned with elegant houses and mansions, but the town has not yet been excavated and can be seen currently only two houses: one of them is adorned with mosaics of pebbles whites and blacks, representing real and imaginary animals . Among the areas most interesting discoveries are "Tophet", a sanctuary in which there is a sacred field where were deposited the remains of human sacrifices offered to cruel Phoenician deity as Baal Hammon, who demanded the sacrifice of the firstborn males. In 397 BC Mozia was destroyed by Dionysius of Syracuse, and the survivors moved to the coast, founding the colony of Lilybaeum today Marsala. Since then, this piece of land was not inhabited until Joseph Whitaker, in love with the place, bought the island. The results of the excavations led by him were collected in one of the lower buildings of his villa, which was promoted as a museum. Off Mozia, in the late 70s, was found the remains of a Punic ship, unique in the world, now on display at the Museum Baglio Anselmi of Marsala.

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