Ralph Crane/Carthage Museum

Punic gold coin minted at Carthage in the late fourth century B.C. The serene profile on this coin is of the goddess Tanit, to whom thousands of infants and children were sacrificed in ancient Carthage. Exquisitely detailed, Tanit wears a wreath of wheat along with an elaborate pendant necklace and earrings.

By the fourth century B.C. Carthage had become a city of wealth and elegance, as this 9.5 gram coin attests. Yet, at the same time, the number of child sacrifices became far greater than it had been in earlier centuries.