Chris Lange, FISM News
A 4,500-year-old statue discovered by a Palestinian farmer is the latest archaeological find providing tantalizing physical evidence of events described in the Old Testament.
The stone carving depicts a face, later determined to represent the Canaanite goddess Arat, The Christian Post reported. Atop her head rests a serpent fashioned into a crown.
The eight-inch-tall artifact was discovered by Abu Eid as he was cultivating his field in Khan Younis, a city in southern Gaza, according to Hamas-run media.
“I found it by chance when I was cultivating my land. It was muddy but when I washed it with water, I realized that it is a precious thing,” Eid told The New Arab.
Eid said he considered selling the statue but was persuaded not to do so by an archeologist who told him the piece was of “great archaeological value.”
The statue’s discovery was announced by the Hamas-run Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities Tuesday at a press conference. Jamal Abu Rida, director-general of the ministry’s Antiquities and Cultural Heritage, estimates that the artifact dates back to 2,500 B.C.
“Anat was the goddess of love, beauty, and war in the Canaanite mythology,” he said.
Rida claims that the statue’s discovery in the Hamas-occupied territory in Gaza proves that the land belongs to Palestine, thereby refuting “the Zionist claim that the land of Palestine is a land without a people for a people without a land.”
Israel relinquished control of Gaza to Hamas, an Islamic military terrorist group, in 2005. Tensions between Israelis and Palestinians in the region remain high.
The statue is currently on display in one of the few museums located in Gaza’s Qasr al-Basha.
According to the Bible Project, the Canaanites angered God by worshiping idols and sacrificing children to their false gods. The Lord instructed Joshua to seize Canaan, which once belonged to Israel, and to drive out the Canaanites in fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham that he would make his descendants into “a great nation” (Genesis 12).