RAMALLAH, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) -- Palestinian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities said Friday it has uncovered a new historical cemetery that belongs to the Byzantine era near the West Bank city of Nablus.
The cemetery, discovered during "recovery excursions" in one of the nearby archaeological locations, includes nine burial chambers, a central yard, and a medium-sized coffin.
The statement said that the burial chambers include some ancient burial materials known to have usually accompanied the deceased in that historical period.
Several skeletons were found too inside the chambers, apparently belonging to people from different ages and a batch of metal, glass and ceramic substances that were used in burial processions, according to the statement.
The ministry also said that its crews will continue excavation and documentation to "unravel details of the all archeological materials found in the location and study them."
Palestinian Tourism Minister Rula Maayah highlights the importance of this discovery, saying "it shall enrich the scientific data on this area that was not known before."
"This would lead to rising awareness among Palestinian citizens over the importance of protecting the cultural heritage," the minister said.
Official Palestinian data shows that the tourism sector accounts for around 19 percent of its annual GDP.