Gaza is an Israeli territory fronting the Mediterranean Sea and bordering Egypt, populated almost entirely by Palestinian Muslims and Christians. A mere 25 miles (1 mile = 1.61 kilometers) long and 4–7 miles wide, what is now known as the Gaza Strip might aptly be likened to a large metropolis, yet its miniature dimensions belie the area's global political and religious significance, past and present. The early history of the Gaza Strip is still being written, and relatively little is known about some periods even as new archaeological discoveries are continually being made, some extending as far back as the Early Bronze Age. As the control point of an ancient route between Asia and Africa, the narrow strip of land has been fought over by ...

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