May 24, 2022

The Queens County Citizen

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A 4,500-year-old stone statue has been found in Gaza

A 4,500-year-old stone statue has been found in Gaza

Archaeological officials in the Palestinian Enclave announced Monday that a more than 4,500-year-old stone statue representing the face of an ancient goddess has been found in the southern Gaza Strip.

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The 2,500 BC statue, carved 22 centimeters long from limestone, was found by a farmer working on his land in Khan Younis, according to the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities in Hamas, which is ruled by the Islamist movement in Gaza.

“The statue represents the Canaanite goddess Anati, the goddess of love and beauty,” said Jamal Abou Rada, in-charge of antiques at the ministry.

It was found on the important “overland trade route to many civilizations” living in the current Gaza Strip, Abu Reda said.

In February, workers at a construction site in northern Gaza discovered 31 first-century Roman-era tombs.

The latest findings come in Gaza, where tourist visits to archeological sites have been restricted since the blockade imposed by Israel following Hamas’ takeover in 2007.

Israel and Egypt, the countries along the Gaza Strip bordering about 2.3 million Palestinians, have severely blocked entry and exit into Palestinian territory.

In January, Hamas reopened a 5th-century Byzantine church after several years of restoration work, backed by foreign donors.

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