1,500-Year-Old Byzantine Church Discovered in Gaza – Breaking Israel News 

The remains of a Byzantine church have been uncovered in Gaza during excavations towards the construction of a new shopping mall, Reuters reported. The announcement was made Monday by the Palestinian Tourism and Antiquities Ministry.The ruins were found in Palestine Square in Gaza City, a popular shopping district. Construction workers made the initial discovery, then called in ministry officials, who identified 15 pieces, including a three meter (almost ten feet) long segment of a column with a Corinthian capital and a 90 centimeter foundation (about 35 inch) stone with the Greek symbol for “Christ” engraved on it. If more pieces are found, Jamal Abu Rida, head of the Antiquities Ministry said, mall construction may be delayed or halted.The remains date back to between 395 and the late 600s CE. “Our first thought is that the site is a cathedral or a church from the Byzantine period,” said Abu Rida. “During that era, there was a great interest among the Byzantine rulers to build churches in the Gaza Strip.”He added, “I dare say the place is of historical value.”

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