The name comes from tuvu and means ‘little hole’. It is easy to see why: you will be amazed by a myriad of tunnels in the limestone rocks that cover most of the 18 hectares of Tuvixeddu, which together with Tuvumannu - separated by an artificial canyon - is one of the seven hills of Cagliari. The Carthaginians decided to bury their dead here, creating the largest existing Punic necropolis comprised of around a thousand ‘well’ tombs, used from the 6th to 3rd centuries BC and then reused in Roman times. The hill reveals a continuity of use that starts, in reality, from the ancient Neolithic, as documented by flint and obsidian remnants dating from the 6th to 5th millennium BC.
The Punic necropolis served a large inhabited town that extended from the foot of the hill - now the Sant’Avendrace district - to the eastern shore of the Laguna di Santa Gilla. Remain from the ‘city of the living’, moving eastwards, are walls with a ‘shell’ structure and floors where the goddess Tanit appears, the main deity for the Carthaginians. The tophet, the children’s cemetery, was perhaps also located in the same area. In the upper part of Tuvixeddu, thanks to footbridges, one can observe the sepulchral chambers - one or more for each sepulchre - located at the base.