AP

Gaza authorities discover over 60 Roman era graves

Dec 10, 2022, 6:25 PM | Updated: Dec 11, 2022, 8:55 am

A Palestinian excavation team works in a newly discovered Roman era cemetery in the Gaza Strip, Sun...

A Palestinian excavation team works in a newly discovered Roman era cemetery in the Gaza Strip, Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022. Hamas authorities in Gaza announced the discovery of over 60 tombs in the ancient burial site. Work crews have been excavating the site since it was discovered last January during preparations for an Egyptian-funded housing project. (AP Photo/Fatima Shbair)

(AP Photo/Fatima Shbair)

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Hamas authorities in Gaza on Sunday announced the discovery of over 60 tombs in an ancient burial site dating back to the Roman era.

Work crews have been excavating the site since it was discovered last January during preparations for an Egyptian-funded housing project.

Hiyam al-Bitar, a researcher from the Hamas-run Ministry of Antiquities and Tourism, said a total of 63 graves have been identified and that a set of bones and artifacts from one tomb was dated back to the second century.

She said the ministry is working with a team of French experts to learn more about the site. On Sunday, workers sifted through the soil and removed piles of dirt in wheelbarrows.

Although the ancient cemetery is now blocked off from the public, construction on the housing project has continued and the site is surrounded by apartment buildings. Local media reported looting when the site was first discovered, with people using donkey-drawn carts to haul away items like a covered casket and inscribed bricks.

Gaza, a coastal enclave home to more than 2 million people, is known for its rich history stemming from its location on ancient trade routes between Egypt and the Levant. But Israeli occupation, a blockade, conflicts and rapid urban growth in the crowded, narrow territory are among the reasons most of Gaza’s archeological treasures have not been protected.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

jerry west...

Tim Reynolds, The Associated Press

Jerry West, a 3-time Hall of Fame selection and the NBA logo, dies at 86

Jerry West, a three-time Basketball Hall of Fame inductee whose silhouette is considered to be the basis of the NBA logo, died Wednesday morning.

21 hours ago

Photo: Construction vehicles are parked outside of the Station U & O building on Tuesday, June 11, ...

Haleluya Hadero, The Associated Press

Amazon adds $1.4B to affordable housing fund for regions where it has corporate offices

Amazon is adding $1.4B to a fund for building more affordable housing in regions where the company has major corporate offices.

1 day ago

hunter biden...

Randall Chase and the Associated Press

Hunter Biden convicted of all 3 felony charges in federal gun trial

Hunter Biden has been convicted of all three felony charges related to the purchase of a revolver in 2018, but no sentencing date was set.

2 days ago

Photo: A Bremerton man who made 20 "swatting" calls around the U.S. and in Canada, prompting real e...

Associated Press

Bremerton man sentenced for 20 ‘swatting’ calls of false threats in US, Canada

A Bremerton man who made 20 "swatting" calls around the U.S. and in Canada, prompting real emergency responses, has been sentenced.

2 days ago

Image: U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, left, speaks with Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zele...

Associated Press

Ukraine uses US weapons to strike inside Russia, a Western official tells AP

Ukraine has used U.S weapons to strike inside Russia in recent days, according to a Western official familiar with the matter told the AP.

8 days ago

boeing nasa...

Marcia Dunn, The Associated Press

Boeing launches NASA astronauts for the first time after years of delays

Boeing launched astronauts for the first time Wednesday, belatedly joining SpaceX as a second taxi service for NASA.

8 days ago

Gaza authorities discover over 60 Roman era graves