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Statuette of Canaanite goddess dating back 4,500 years found in Gaza, says Hamas

Ancient artifact, carved out of limestone and 22 centimeters long, was found by a farmer working his land in Khan Younis; it is said to depict the goddess Anat

A stone statuette over 4,500 years old depicting the face of an ancient goddess discovered in the southern Gaza Strip, April 25, 2022 (Courtesy)
A stone statuette over 4,500 years old depicting the face of an ancient goddess discovered in the southern Gaza Strip, April 25, 2022 (Courtesy)

A stone statuette over 4,500 years old depicting the face of an ancient goddess was discovered in the southern Gaza Strip, officials in Hamas announced Monday.

Carved out of limestone and 22 centimeters (8.6 inches) long, the 2500 BCE statuette was found by a farmer working his land in Khan Younis, according to the ministry of tourism and antiquities for Hamas, the terror group that rules Gaza.

“The statue represents the Canaanite goddess Anat,” Jamal Abu Reda, in charge of antiquities at the ministry, said in a statement.

Anat, one of the best-known Canaanite deities, was the goddess of love and war.

It was uncovered on what was an important “overland trade route for several civilizations” that lived in what is now the Gaza Strip, according to Abu Reda.

In February, workers at a construction site in northern Gaza discovered 31 Roman-era tombs dating to the first century CE.

In January, Hamas reopened the remains of a fifth-century Byzantine church following a years-long restoration effort backed by foreign donors.

In 2017, Hamas destroyed large parts of a rare Canaanite settlement to make way for a housing development for its own employees.

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