A set of Roman-era tombs dating back some 2,000 years have been discovered near the Palestinian city of Hebron in the occupied West Bank during road works, an official said Thursday.
The cemetery dating to the first century AD, when the region was under Roman rule, was found in the village of Idna in the southern West Bank around two weeks ago.
It was discovered during road work in mountainous terrain in the area, said Taleb Jubran, director of the department of tourism and antiquities in Hebron.
Bones, pottery and some 32 tombs set into stone were found. It was clear to archaeologists that artifacts had been stolen from the site before it was officially discovered, said Jubran.
"This discovery is very important for us to study it and to preserve it," Jubran said.
The tombs were set out over a space of some 50 metres.
Officials also hoped to turn the site into a tourist attraction, while further study of it would continue to turn up details of what was found and its importance, he said.
A large number of remains from the Roman era can be found and visited in Israel and the Palestinian territories as well as the region as a whole.