Kothon ( Cothon ) denotes artificial harbor of antiquity. It is an invention of the Phoenicians.
A Kothon is a rectangular hewn out of the rock basin, which is connected by a narrow channel with the sea. Maybe it was used as a berth for ships, their repair or for removal and loading.
The largest and best known Kothone are the artificial harbor facilities of Carthage: First, the ships came through a narrow entrance to the rectangular commercial port, a drive-through at the back resulted in the circular naval port for 220 ships, in the center on an artificial island believed to be the building the Admiralty and / or shipyards place found ( as reported by Appian ).
At the conquest of Carthage in 146 BC by the Romans at the end of the Third Punic War, the Kothon was crucial: the Romans locked the Kothon with an underwater causeway from. Thereupon the Carthaginians dug a channel from the naval port into the sea. After a final naval battle, the attention of the Carthaginians at Kothon subsided and a Roman unit climbed the boundary wall of the military harbor, from where they could penetrate into the city. The Carthaginians then retreated into the core area of the city back and finally had to give up.
The term Kothon probably dates from a Punic word meaning " cut off, separate". Later it was transferred to the artificial harbors.