The Carthaginian Empire was the wider sphere of influence of the Phoenician city of Carthage during the 7th–2nd centuries BC. The empire extended over much of the coast of Northwest Africa, coastal Iberia and the islands of the western Mediterranean Sea. Phoenicians founded Carthage in 814 BC and the city gained its independence from Tyre around 650 BC to become a major power in the Mediterranean basin. For much of its history, Carthage was on hostile terms with the Greeks in Sicily and with the Roman Republic in the armed conflicts known as the Sicilian Wars (c. 600–265 BC) and the Punic Wars (264–146 BC). In 146 BC, after the third and final Punic War, Roman forces destroyed Carthage.
Between the late fifth century BC and its destruction, Carthage produced a wide range of coinage in gold, electrum, silver, billon, and bronze. Only a minority of Carthaginian coinage was produced or used in North Africa. Instead, the majority derive from Carthage's holdings in Sardinia and western Sicily. The base denomination was the shekel weighing 7.2g of silver. Carthage issued ½-shekel, shekel, 1⅔-shekel, double shekel, and triple shekel coins. 5-shekel pieces were issued in Sicily. Wikidata: Q2429397