Friday, October 22, 2010

Treasure House Under Threat

By Eva Bartlett

"GAZA CITY, Oct 22, 2010 (IPS) - Few outside of Gaza would consider its history much beyond the decades of Israeli occupation. But Gaza is a historical treasure house. Many of those treasures are now in Israeli museums, and those that remain are becoming difficult to preserve due to the Israeli siege.

Gaza, set along the historical silk road and on the bridge between Africa and Asia, was host to civilisations, including the Pharaohs, Canaanites, Philistines, Crusaders, Mamluks, Romans and many following. Alexander the Great invaded Gaza; Napoleon Bonaparte passed through.

"Throughout Gaza, you find pottery and carved columns and capitals, and the remnants of civilisations past, including artifacts from early human presence like the iron and bronze ages," says Asad Ashoor from the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities in Gaza.

"There are visible relics in Gaza," says Ashoor. These have survived civilisations and more recently, Israeli bombings....."

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