Palestinians find ancient coin hoard in Gaza
"The most important of the findings are 1,300 antique silver coins, both large and small," said Mohammed al-Agha, tourism and antiquities minister in the Islamist-run government.
He said archaeologists had also uncovered a black basalt grinder, a coin with a cross etched on it, and the remains of walls and arches believed to have been built in 320 BC.
They also discovered a "mysterious" underground compartment with a blocked entrance that appeared to be a tomb, Agha said.
The Palestinian Authority has been carrying out archaeological excavations since the 1990s, but this was the first major find to be announced by the Hamas-run government.
The Islamist movement seized control of the impoverished coastal territory in June 2007 when it drove out forces loyal to the Western-backed Palestinian president, Mahmud Abbas.
The archaeological dig, still under way, is close to where a vast network of smuggling tunnels provides a vital economic lifeline amid strict Israeli and Egyptian closures imposed after the takeover.
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