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Unearthing Gaza's history

Palestine Square in the heart of Gaza City has been the focus of excavation works by the Ministry of Endowments to unearth ruins dating back to the Byzantine era.

The 1,500 year old remains include crowns, columns and a cross, which indicates there may have been a church on the site, Director of Museums and Antiquities at the Ministry of Tourism Hiam Al-Bitar told MEMO.

It is expected that the city centre may have contained many churches from the Byzantine era. Al-Bitar said: "They are ruins and not standing remnants, and this might be owed to an earthquake hitting the Gaza Strip, or the abandonment of these churches."

The Ministry of Tourism cannot hold or contain this site because the ruins are in dispersed pieces and no outlines of the site are clear. The pieces will be cleaned and transported to Al-Basha Palace Museum to go on display.

Large numbers of people have been gathering in the square to take pictures of the relics discovered.

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