Child Sacrifice at Carthage—Religious Rite or Population Control?
Archaeological evidence provides basis for a new analysis
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“Tophet” is a Biblical word. It is the name of a place that was on the south side of ancient Jerusalem in the Valley of Ben-Hinnom, where the Israelites sacrificed their children by fire. It may even refer to the altar on which the sacrifices took place. The book of the prophet Jeremiah describes it:
“‘The people of Judah have done evil in my sight,’ saith the Lord … ‘They built the high placea of Tophet, which is in the Valley of Ben-Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in fire. Such a thing I never commanded, nor had in mind’” (Jeremiah 7:30–32).

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