An impressive 4,500-year-old statue was found in the Gaza Strip

Gaza Strip Anat

A carved stone statue of an ancient goddess of beauty, love and war has been found in the Gaza Strip.

Palestinian archaeologists say that it is the representation of the Canaanite goddess Anat and that it dates back to 4,500 years ago, the Late Bronze Age.

The discovery was made by a farmer digging on his land at Kahn Younis. in the south of the strip.

Comments on social media alluding to the goddess’s apt association with war.

In recent years, there have been a series of devastating clashes in the wake of the conflict between Israel and militant groups in Gaza, a Palestinian territory that is ruled by Hamas.

However, the discovery of the limestone statue highlights how this territory – part of an important trade route for a series of ancient civilizations – was originally a Canaanite settlement.

The 22-centimeter-high carved sculpture clearly shows the face of the goddess wearing a serpent crown.

“We found it by chance. It was muddy and we cleaned it with water,” said farmer Nidal Abu Eid, who bumped into his head while cultivating his field.

“We realized that it was a precious thing, but we didn’t know that it had such archaeological value,” he told the BBC.

“We thank God and we are proud that he remained in our land, in Palestine, since Canaanite times.”

The statue of Anat – one of the most recognized Canaanite deities – is now on display at Qasr al-Basha, a historic building that houses one of the few museums in Gaza.

GAZA, WHICH WAS AN IMPORTANT TRADE ROUTE FOR ANCIENT CIVILIZATIONS, IS HOME TO MANY ARCHAEOLOGICAL TREASURES.

At a press conference to mark the unveiling of the piece on Tuesday, Jamal Abu Rida of the Hamas-run Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities said the statue had “withstood the test of time” and had been carefully examined. by the experts.

He noted that he was sending a political message.

“These discoveries prove that Palestine has a civilization and a history, and no one can deny or falsify this history,” he declared. “This represents the Palestinian people and their ancient Canaanite civilization.”

Not all archaeological discoveries in Gaza have received as much appreciation or fared as well.

Hamas – a militant Islamist organization – has previously been accused of destroying the remains of a large Canaanite fortified village, Tell al Sakan, to build residences and military bases in the south of heavily populated Gaza City.

A life-size bronze statue of the Greek god Apollo was discovered by a fisherman in 2013, but then mysteriously disappeared.

SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES
PALESTINIAN FISHERMAN JAWDAT GHRAB CLAIMS TO HAVE PULLED A 2,500-YEAR-OLD STATUE OF THE GOD APOLLO FROM THE SEA.

This year, however, Hamas reopened the archaeological site of a 5th-century Byzantine church, after donors helped pay for a years-long restoration project.

Construction work in northern Gaza was also halted when 31 Roman-era tombs were discovered at the site.

Although these ancient sites could potentially be points of attraction for foreign tourists,  Gaza has virtually no tourism industry.

Israel and Egypt rigidly control the movement of people in and out of the impoverished coastal enclave, which is home to 2.3 million Palestinians, citing security concerns.