Hamas says over 60 Roman-era tombs found in Gaza Strip

This is not the first ancient archaeological find discovered at this site in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip. Earlier in 2022, a 2,000-year-old Roman cemetery was found near the shoreline.

 Men work in a newly discovered Roman cemetery in Gaza, in this handout photo obtained by Reuters, February 17, 2022. (photo credit: REUTERS)
Men work in a newly discovered Roman cemetery in Gaza, in this handout photo obtained by Reuters, February 17, 2022.
(photo credit: REUTERS)

Over 60 Roman-era tombs have been discovered in excavation work in the Gaza Strip, the Associated Press reported Sunday, citing Hamas authorities.

According to Hamas-run Palestinian Ministry of Antiquities and Tourism researcher Hiyam al-Bitar, 63 tombs have been found, and the contents of one dated back to the second century CE, according to AP.

This is not the first ancient archaeological find discovered at this site in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip.

Previous Roman-era archaeological discoveries in Gaza

Earlier in 2022, a 2,000-year-old Roman cemetery was found near the northern Gaza Strip shoreline, containing 20 ornately decorated graves in what has been dubbed the most important local discovery of the past decade.

Men work in a newly discovered Roman cemetery in Gaza, in this handout photo obtained by Reuters, February 17, 2022. (credit: REUTERS)Men work in a newly discovered Roman cemetery in Gaza, in this handout photo obtained by Reuters, February 17, 2022. (credit: REUTERS)

Gaza is rich with antiquities having been an important trading spot for many civilizations, from as far back as the ancient Egyptians and the Philistines depicted in the Bible, through the Roman empire and the crusades.

Ruins discovered there include the remains of a siege by Alexander the Great as well as a Mongol invasion.

Because of the shape of the graves and the relatively ornate decorations, they likely belonged to "senior ranking people" in the Roman Empire during the first century, Jamal Abu Rida, director-general of Gaza's Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, said at the time.