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2 December 2017
Bronze Age site in Palestine under serious threat

Archaeologists and activists are seriously concerned that a valuable Bronze Age site on the outskirts of Gaza City (Palestine) is under threat of destruction.
     The site was first identified in 1998 and is believed to be the remains of a fortified Canaanite city, dating back to between 3,200 BCE and 2,000 BCE. Further archaeological excavation works were carried out between 1999 and 2000 on what is basically a mound with a diameter of approximately 300 metres, located at Tell es-Sakan near Gaza.
     Over the intervening years since the first excavations several attempts to flatten the site have been thwarted, as this area has been zoned by the local authority for housing projects. Ironically, it was the first attempt to bulldoze the area that alerted archaeologists to its potential and significance.
     Even though the latest demolition attempt had been halted, Palestinian archaeologists are still extremely concerned over the site's future. Before the bulldozing had been stopped serious damage had already been inflicted, as advised by Moain Sadeeq, the Palestinian archaeologist who first uncovered the potential back in 1998, who is quoted as saying "The damage is very, very significant. Ancient dwelling structures and sections of the ramparts have been destroyed. Moveable artefacts have been taken away". When questioned on whether he thought that the Gaza housing authority would keep to their word and leave the site alone, he replied "I'm not sure it will last forever".

Edited from PhysOrg (24 October 2017)

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