Construction Projects Find Archaeological Treasures Across the Roman Empire

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This week two construction projects uncovered massive archaeological finds. Two construction crews, distant from each other, discovered previously unknown remains of the Roman civilization.

A construction crew in a northern Gaza city unearthed a 2,000-year-old Roman cemetery that contains at least 34 tombs. A second crew found an 1,800-year-old Roman mosaic ten feet beneath a South London thoroughfare.

Naji Sarhan of Gaza's Ministry of Public Works confirmed the presence of the graves, which were uncovered as part of a $500 million reconstruction project funded by Egypt. Construction crews halted work. Authorities brought in archaeologists and historians to examine the artifacts and gravestones. Personal belongings, pottery artifacts, and semi-in-tact tombs stood among the human remains.

"Gaza is rich with uncovered antiquities, as it has been vital trading passage for many civilizations due to the seaport that attracted Roman and Canaanite civilizations, in addition to its gate with the ancient Egyptians," said Abu Rida of the French School for Antiques.

In South London, archaeologists say that the mosaic represents a once-in-a-lifetime find, "the largest decorated mosaic discovered in London in the past 50 years."

Experts plan to preserve and extract the colorful double-paneled mosaic from the site and move it to the Museum of London Archaeology for public display. According to the museum's statement, "Astonishingly, traces of an earlier mosaic underneath the one currently visible have been identified. This shows the room was refurbished over the years, perhaps to make way for the latest trends."

The Roman Empire reached from Mesopotamia in the east to the far reaches of Northern Britain in the west, lasting approximately 700 years.

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