Hamas Says 63 Graves Found in Ancient Roman Burial Site – ARTnews.com

More than 60 tombs have been found in a Roman-era burial site, according to Hamas authorities in Gaza City.

The location of the ancient antiquities was discovered last January during work preparations for an Egyptian-funded housing project.

Hiyam al-Bitar, a researcher from the Hamas-run Ministry of Antiquities and Tourism, told the Associated Press that 63 graves had been identified. In one tomb, a set of bones and artifacts dated back to the 2nd century CE.

Interested members of the public won’t be able to see the ancient cemetery, as it is now blocked off. When the site was first discovered, local media reported there was looting, with people using donkeys and carts to take ancient items, like a covered casket and inscribed bricks.

This isn’t the first major archaeological discovery in Gaza this year. In February, a 2,000-year-old Roman cemetery was discovered in the north with some 100 intricately decorated graves facing east to west, indicating they belonged to “senior ranking people” during the 1st century CE.

The director-general of Gaza’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, Jamal Abu Rida, said in a statement, “We have made several discoveries in the past, this is the most important archaeological discovery in the past 10 years.”

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