Gaza’s archaeological treasures under threat

Vias South Lebanon

MEMO – Palestine is rich in ancient relics and important archaeological artefacts; some pre-date the Christian era, others go back as far as the Stone Age. But as with everything else, the Israeli-led siege has left these precious historical relics at the mercy of the Zionist occupational forces. In recent months there has been an increase in the number of attempted thefts of important antiquities from the Gaza Strip and attempts to smuggle the valuable items across the border.

Palestinian police recently detained a group of thieves trying to smuggle ancient relics out of Gaza; the items have now been placed in museums. The protection and sensitive excavation of these relics has been hampered by the illegal siege of Gaza which has prevented the government from developing local archaeological and excavation expertise. Israeli forces have also prevented international scientists and archaeologists from entering the Gaza Strip for any length of time adequate enough to carry out their research.

According to an official from the Museums and Antiquities Department in the Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry is trying to take control of all archaeological sites. “There have been a number of restoration projects and excavations of these important sites which have produced important new findings,” the spokesman added, “especially from the Stone Age and the Byzantine and Canaanite eras.” The Palestinians of today are believed to be descendents of the Canaanites.

Posted by Jnoubiyeh at 9:29 PM

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