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Gaza farmer discovers stone statue of ancient Canaanite goddess dating back 4,500 years to late Bronze Age

A farmer has discovered a stone statue of an ancient Canaanite goddess in the Gaza Strip dating to the late Bronze Age.

According to Palestinian archaeologists, the head of the war goddess Anat dates back 4,500 years.

Khan Younis, a farmer in Gaza, unearthed the 22 cm tall (8.7 in) statue while digging his land south of the strip.

The sculpture appears shows the face of the main Northwest Semitic goddess wearing a serpent crown.

(Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Nidal Abu Eid, the farmer who discovered the head while cultivating his field, told the BBC“We found it by chance. It was muddy and we washed it out with water.

“We realized it was a precious thing, but we didn’t know it had such archaeological value.

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

The goddess statue is now on display in Qasr al-Basha, a historic building in Gaza’s Old City that serves as a museum.

The Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities said the limestone head is estimated to be around 2,500 BC.

The limestone head is believed to represent the Canaanite goddess ‘Anat’

(Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Jamal Abu Rida of the Hamas-run ministry said the statue was “resistant against time” when unveiling the artifact at a press conference on Tuesday,

He said the artifact, which had been carefully reviewed by experts, made a political point.

“Such findings prove that Palestine has a civilization and a history, and no one can deny or falsify that history,” he said.

“It’s the Palestinian people and their ancient Canaanite civilization.”

An employee of the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities holds the rare 4,500-year-old stone sculpture

(AP)

It comes as tensions between Israel and the Palestinians have risen following a series of deadly attacks inside Israel, arrest raids in the West Bank, clashes between Palestinians and Israeli police at Jerusalem’s most sensitive holy site and the first rocket attacks into Israel from Hamas. – controlled the Gaza Strip in months.

On Monday, Israel announced it would reopen its border crossing with the Gaza Strip to Palestinian workers after closing it for several days following rocket attacks from the Palestinian enclave.

COGAT, the Israeli military body coordinating civil affairs in Gaza, said the opening of the Erez crossing on Tuesday would be conditional on “the maintenance of a stable security situation in the region”.


The Independent Gt

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