The majority of Carthaginian figurines like this one were found submerged off the coast of Israel. Previously thought to have been the remains of a wrecked trading ship full of votive figurines, recent archaeological studies have revealed that these figurines were deposited in the sea at various times over a period of a few hundred years, roughly the 7th to 3rdcenturies BC. They were likely thrown overboard, along with vessels of wine, by Carthaginian sailors as offerings to the goddess Tanit, who was associated with fertility, seafaring journeys, and warrior strength, to pray for a safe journey. Carthage, located in present-day Tunisia, was initially a settlement of the legendary seafaring Phoenician civilization. It eventually gained independence as a city-state and became the centre of a powerful trading empire across the Mediterranean, famously rivalling the Roman Empire until its defeat in the 2nd century BC.