Over 60 historical tombs found throughout building work in Gaza


Hamas authorities in Gaza on Sunday introduced the invention of over 60 tombs in an historical burial web site relationship again to the Roman period.

A complete of 63 graves have been recognized and a set of bones and artifacts from one tomb was dated again to the second century, mentioned Hiyam al-Bitar, a researcher from the Hamas-run Ministry of Antiquities and Tourism.

She mentioned the ministry is working with a group of French specialists to study extra concerning the web site. On Sunday, employees sifted by means of the soil and eliminated piles of dust in wheelbarrows.

Palestinian employees excavate a recently-discovered Roman cemetery containing ornately adorned graves in Beit Lahia within the northern Gaza Strip, on December 12, 2022.

MOHAMMED ABED/AFP through Getty Images

Work crews have been excavating the location because it was found final January throughout preparations for an Egyptian-funded housing undertaking. The undertaking has been partially suspended, and a group from the native antiquities ministry visited the location to catalogue the findings and search for extra, Fazl al-Atal, head of the excavation group, informed AFP on Monday.

“We expect to find 75 to 80 tombs in total,” Atal added, hailing the invention of the “first complete Roman-era cemetery found in Gaza.”

The 2,000-year-old burial web site is situated close to the ruins of the Greek port of Anthedon, on the highway resulting in historical Ascalon — now the Israeli metropolis of Ashkelon by the Gaza border.

The antiquity ministry group has been specializing in “documentation, research and protection of the site,” Atal mentioned. “Our aim is to ascertain… the causes of death.”

Jamal Abu Reda, in control of antiquities on the ministry, mentioned the location is “of great importance and believed to be an extension of the site” of historical Anthedon.  

Although the traditional cemetery is now blocked off from the general public, building on the housing undertaking has continued and the location is surrounded by house buildings. Local media reported looting when the location was first found, with individuals utilizing donkey-drawn carts to haul away gadgets like a coated casket and inscribed bricks.

Archaeology is a extremely political topic in Israel and the Palestinian territories, and a few discoveries have been used to justify the territorial claims of every individuals.

In Gaza, each analysis and tourism to archaeological websites are restricted resulting from an Israeli blockade imposed since Hamas took over the strip in 2007.

Israel and Egypt, which shares a border with Gaza, tightly prohibit the movement of individuals out and in of the impoverished enclave, which is dwelling to about 2.3 million Palestinians.

Researchers within the strip unveiled in September Byzantine mosaics relationship from the fifth to seventh centuries, and in April a 4,500-year-old stone statuette depicting the face of an historical goddess.

One professional mentioned the invention was in “immediate danger” as a result of it’s so near the Israeli separation fence.

Earlier this yr, a farmer discovered a 4,500-year-old stone statuette of an historical goddess whereas working his land in Gaza.

“We found it by chance. It was muddy and we washed it with water,” farmer Nidal Abu Eid told BBC News. “We realized that it was a precious thing, but we didn’t know it was of such great archaeological value.”

AFP contributed to this report.


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