The archaeological sites at risk of being wiped out in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict - from the oldest Christian Church in Gaza to an 'unprecedented' Roman necropolis containing at least 130 tombs

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Since Hamas launched a bid of sadistic panic attacks connected Israel connected October 7, nan Palestinian enclave of Gaza has been pounded by astir continuous airstrikes. 

The conflict, which has already claimed nan lives of 1,400 Israelis and 3,700 Palestinians, has besides destroyed countless homes and displaced 600,000 people. 

Alongside nan tremendous harm to nan Palestinian enclave's infrastructure, nan bombardment besides threatens to swipe retired a wealth trove of historical, cultural, and archaeological sites.

These sites see nan oldest Christian religion successful Palestine, a immense Roman funeral site, and nan ancient ruins of a 4th period monastery. 

Many of these sites are successful nan bluish removal zone, from which nan Israeli Defense Force (IDF) has instructed civilians to fly successful mentation for a full-scale battle - and immoderate person already been damaged by conflict. 

This representation shows nan location of 9 archaeological and taste sites successful Gaza, nan immense mostly are located successful aliases adjacent nan removal area wherever fighting is apt to beryllium heaviest


READ MORE: Gaza suffers much demolition arsenic Greek Orthodox religion deed successful onslaught sidesplitting respective group arsenic they sheltered inside

Jean-Baptiste Humbert, a French archaeologist who has worked successful Palestine for decades, told MailOnline he was 'ready to be to a full demolition of nan Gaza taste heritage.'

Although Professor Humbert maintains that nary 1 is intentionally destroying humanities sites, he says that nan conditions successful Palestine person led to an inevitable nonaccomplishment of nan region's taste heritage.

'Gaza nine is delicate to its heritage, but nan crushing by nan occupying forces complete nan past 50 years has meant that captious priorities specified arsenic feeding, caring for and educating nan organization person been pushed taste practice speech arsenic a luxury for able countries,' Professor Humbert said. 

As Professor Humbert points out, organization maturation successful nan already densely populated region has meant that houses and municipal buildings are often built complete archaeological sites.

A UNESCO spokesperson told MailOnline that nan assemblage already had 'very superior concerns' astir nan conservation of respective historical sites successful Gaza owed to a deficiency of nationalist argumentation for their protection. 

'All Israeli and Palestinian practice sites are presently astatine consequence of damage. UNESCO is of people profoundly concerned astir nan adverse effect this conflict could person connected taste practice some successful Palestine and Israel,' they said. 

UNESCO besides points retired that nan precocious number of rocket strikes against some Gaza and Israel puts archaeological sites crossed nan region astatine precocious consequence of damage.

This representation of Professor Humbert's findings shows really humanities sites for illustration this Roman colony are often built complete by modern housing

The Church of Saint Porphyrius 

The oldest Christian Church successful Gaza, nan Church of Saint Porphyrius has stood successful nan Zaytun 4th of nan metropolis since nan 1150s.

Built by Crusaders, nan Greek Orthodox religion takes its sanction from nan 5th-century bishop of Gaza whose tomb is located successful nan northeastern corner.

The religion offered services and sheltered members of each faiths during conflicts, however, it has now been earnestly damaged successful a rocket onslaught which killed a 'large number of people. 

This week, an aerial onslaught struck nan church, damaging nan destruction and causing an adjacent building to collapse. 

A number of civilians who had been sheltering successful nan religion person been killed according to nan Palestinian interior ministry. 

The Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem said targeting nan religion 'constitutes a warfare crime'. 

The Church of St Porphyrius is Gaza's oldest Christian religion and still offers a spot of shelter and believe for nan group who unrecorded successful nan Palestinian enclave

As a Greek Orthodox religion nan building has been utilized for almost 1,000 years and still conducts services

A rocket struck nan religion this Friday, sidesplitting respective group sheltering wrong and collapsing a neighboring building 

Ancient history of Gaza 

The history of Gaza stretches backmost astir 4,000 years to nan original Canaanite settlement.

During this clip nan area has been ruled, destroyed, conquered, and repopulated by armies from various empires and dynasties.

In 730 BCE Gaza became portion of nan Assyrian Empire until nan metropolis was besieged by Alexander nan Great successful 32 BCE.

After changing betwixt Egyptian and Syrian power for hundreds of years, nan Romans took power successful 63 CE. 

After Roman norm nan metropolis was again invaded by nan Crusaders successful 1100 CE earlier passing into nan power of nan Mamluk dynasty successful nan precocious 1300s.

Tell Umm Amer (Monastery of St Hilarion) 

Hidden among nan coastal dunes six miles (10km) southbound of Gaza City, nan remains of Tel Umm Amer, aliases nan Monastery of St Hilarion, span 4 hundreds of years from nan precocious Roman Empire to nan Umayyad Period.

The first buildings connected nan tract were founded successful 400 CE, complete 1,600 years ago, and it was 1 of nan largest Christian Monasteries successful nan Middle East.

Dedicated to St Hilarion, a autochthonal Gazan and nan begetter of Palestinian monasticism, nan sprawling tract contains 5 successive churches, baths and sanctuary complexes, intricate geometric mosaics, and a immense crypt.

At its height, nan monastery would person served nan pilgrims and merchants crossing nan beatified onshore from Egypt into modern-day Lebanon and Syria, who stopped to remainder and bask nan Roman-style baths.

However, nan monastery was damaged successful nan seventh period by an earthquake and was abandoned until 1999 erstwhile section archaeologists began to excavate nan ruins.  

The tract had been submitted to UNESCO's tentative World Heritage database successful 2012 owed to its cultural, religious, and humanities importance.

A UNESCO typical told nan MailOnline that nan organisation was highly concerned astir nan site's conservation, moreover anterior Hamas' attacks connected Israel.  

Tell Umm Amer, aliases nan monastery of St Hilarion, was erstwhile 1 of nan largest monasteries successful nan full Middle East

An important crossroads betwixt Egypt and Mesopotamia, nan monastery was a cardinal stop-over for merchants and pilgrims who came to remainder and relax successful nan bath complex

Archeologists person uncovered ample monasteries, nevertheless UNESCO says it is highly concerned astir nan sites conservation 

Qalaat Barquq

Located successful Khan Younis, Southern Gaza, Qalaat Barquq is simply a 14th-century fort constructed during nan norm of nan Mamluk Sultan Barquq.

The fort was built during a clip of monolithic upheaval successful nan region arsenic instability wrong nan elite and nan threat of Mongol penetration threatened to overturn nan Sultan's clasp connected power.

Sultan Barquq himself was primitively a slave, sold to a bathhouse successful Crimea he tried to flight earlier being captured by Bulgarian bandits and sold to Egypt. 

Rising done nan ranks of nan Mamluk elite arsenic a tribunal advisor, Barquq was capable to termination nan erstwhile sultan and prehend powerfulness for himself.

This fort was utilized by merchants travelling betwixt Damascus and Cairo and was heavy guarded astatine each times.

Today, nan beforehand destruction of nan fort and 1 of nan towers survives, while astir of nan building has been converted into surviving spaces and shops. 

Qalaat Barquq is simply a 13th-century fort built by nan Sultan Barquq to take sides himself against rebellions and nan Mongol armies that threatened to overthrow him

Qasr el-Basha

The galore names of Qasr el-Basha are a testament to its agelong history and nan decades of world activity successful Gaza.

Known arsenic Pasha's Palace, Radwan Castle, aliases Napoleon's Fort this 13th-century building has served arsenic a spot of powerfulness for everyone from nan Ottomans to nan British. 

Built by Sultan Zahir Baibars, nan fort initially served arsenic a defence against nan Crusaders and invading Mongol armies still warring successful nan region.

In nan 1600s nan fort was taken complete and expanded by nan Ottoman Empire during nan Radwan dynasty, who later became nan 'pashas' of Gaza. 

It was nan fort's protect prowess that astir apt attracted Napoleon Bonaparte who spent 3 days location during 1799, earning its nickname 'Napoleon's Fort'. 

During nan modern period, nan building was utilized arsenic a constabulary position by nan British Mandate of Palestine earlier being converted into a girls' school.

Currently, nan fort is utilized arsenic a taste museum, having been converted pinch nan thief of nan United Nations Development Fund. 

Due to tight separator controls, artifacts recovered successful Gaza cannot easy time off nan state meaning that Qasr el-Basha has go an important repository for archaeological finds made successful nan Gaza Strip.

Qasr el-Basha was primitively constructed successful nan 13th period arsenic a defense against nan Crusaders

It is now a taste depository lodging respective important artifacts recovered successful archaeological sites successful Gaza

Al-Omari Mosque 

The Great Mosque of Gaza, nan city's oldest and largest Mosque, was built successful nan Jabaliya area complete 700 years ago. 

The Omari mosque still serves an important usability successful nan community, offering a spot of believe for immoderate 1,000 Gazans. 

However, nan building was severely damaged during nan little 2014 incursion into Gaza by Israeli forces. 

As portion of Operation Defensive Edge, nan mosque was deed by an airstrike which flattened a modern helping and destroyed overmuch of nan roof.

However, nan 13th-century minaret, believed to beryllium nan oldest portion of nan structure, survived nan conflict and still stands today. 

Built complete 700 years agone nan al-Omari Mosque is Gaza's biggest and oldest, making it an important tract of belief and taste significance.

The Mosque was severely damaged by an airstrike successful 2014 arsenic Israeli troops entered Gaza to conflict Hamas terrorists

Al Ghussein House

The Al Ghussein House is simply a humanities building making love from nan precocious Ottoman play and was nan location of nan English consul during nan British Mandate.

Built by nan able Al-Ghussein family successful nan 18th century, nan location is 1 of galore humanities buildings successful Gaza which fell into disrepair and decay owed to nan ongoing crisis. 

Despite its importance, nan building was near abandoned a decade agone until renovations began successful 2020 to reconstruct its grandeur and person it into a taste hub. 

The location now serves nan section organization arsenic a taste centre promoting nan arts, music, and film.

Having erstwhile fallen into disrepair, nan erstwhile location of nan British envoy is now a thriving organization centre celebrating creation and music

Hammam al Sammara 

In nan Turkish-style baths of Hammam al-Sammara, meaning nan Samaritan bathhouse, locals still travel to bask nan relaxing power successful nan aforesaid measurement arsenic they person been for centuries. 

Built by nan Samaritans, an ancient offshoot of Judaism, records of renovations day nan baths backmost to astatine slightest 1320 CE.

Marble tiles and stained solid decorate nan domed rooms wherever you tin find basking and acold baths 10 feet (three metres) beneath nan engaged streets.

The tract has fallen successful and retired of repair complete nan past 700 years but it presently has been restored and is now nan only progressive accepted bath location successful Gaza.

At nan Hammam al Sammara Gazan's tin bask a infinitesimal of bid and tranquility among nan ancient steam rooms and baths 

For complete 700 years locals person been coming present to sweat distant their worries connected nan marble slabs 10ft beneath nan streets

Ard-al-Moharbeen Roman Necropolis 

In July, archaeologists were amazed to make nan 'unprecedented' find of a Roman necropolis containing astatine slightest 130 tombs.

The project, which was partially funded by nan British Council to promote young Palestinians to prosecute pinch their taste heritage, excavated tombs which day backmost betwixt 200 BCE and 200 CE.

Construction crews initially discovered nan site, which is complete 43,000 quadrate feet, while moving connected a lodging task adjacent nan Jabalia exile campy past year. 

Archaeologists besides recovered 2 lead coffins, 1 intricately dressed up pinch grape harvest motifs and nan different featuring dolphins swimming done water. 

The rarity of lead tombs suggests that members of nan Roman elite were buried here, this could mean that nan tomb indicates nan centre of an ancient Roman city. 

Some of nan skeletons were discovered pinch coins placed successful their mouths, a believe believed to assistance them safe transition done nan afterlife. 

The tombs were recovered little than a mile from nan ancient metropolis of Anthedon Blakhiyeh, a Mediterranean larboard metropolis believed to person been inhabited betwixt 800 BCE and 1100 CE by a succession of ancient societies. 

Last year, an investigation by Forensic Architecture utilizing Professor Humbert's investigation recovered that Israeli bombing had placed nan tract nether terrible threat of destruction.  

The 'unprecedented' find of Gaza's largest necropolis revealed over  130 Roman tombs little than a mile from nan ancient Mediterranean larboard metropolis of Anthedon Blakhiyeh

Archaeologists uncovered lead coffins dressed up pinch grapes and swimming dolphins, this suggests that nan elite of Roman nine were buried here

However, reports propose nan ancient Roman metropolis beneath Gaza is astatine utmost consequence of demolition owed to building useful and bombardment 

Tel Rafah Archaeological site

On Gaza's confederate separator pinch Egypt, a ample archaeological tract spans complete an ancient colony making love backmost to nan Canaanite era.

Excavations astatine Tel Rafa person uncovered coins, bots, and solid made arsenic acold backmost arsenic 1400 BCE.

Roman-era coins and structures person besides been discovered by researchers moving successful nan area.

However, pinch constricted resources and a small governmental support nan sites in Rafa person been small explored and overmuch lies excavated.

Archaeologists successful Gaza person to activity pinch small backing and authorities support arsenic taste preservation remains a debased privilege for nan Palestinian authorities 

WHAT DOES BIBLICAL TRADITION TELL US ABOUT THE PHILISTINES?

The Philistines are referred to arsenic nan descendants of nan Casluchim successful Genesis 10:14 and Exodus 13:17. 

Known arsenic a seafaring nation, nan Philistines were a non-Semitic group who near Crete and arrived successful Canaan astatine nan opening of nan 12th period BC. 

The Philistines inhabited nan Mediterranean seashore of Canaan during nan play of nan Book of Judges. 

They founded 5 principalities - Gaza, Asheklon, Ashdod, Ekron, and Gath.

Their highly-developed weapons brought a awesome threat to nan Israelites. 

During nan Exodus from Egypt, nan Israelites purposely took a confederate way to circumvent them. 

The Philistines often battled against nan Israelites. The first King of Israel, Saul, temporarily weakened them. 

Later, a little-known shepherd by nan sanction of David - later 2nd King of Israel - defeated them aft his conflict pinch nan ample Philistine by nan sanction of Goliath. 

The Philistines were reduced to chiefly commercialized ventures alternatively than subject ventures. 

Throughout nan Books of Kings, different Jewish leaders fought nan federation until nan Assyrians wholly defeated them. 

The Philistines past assimilated into nan surrounding cultures and ceased to beryllium arsenic a abstracted nation.

The sanction Palestine originates from nan Philistine inhabitance of nan onshore of Judea. 

After nan Romans conquered nan region successful nan 2nd period AD, nan Romans utilized nan word Palestinia to mention to nan region successful an effort to minimize Jewish attachment to nan land. 

The Arabic usage of nan word Filastin is from this Latin root.


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