Israel uncovers uncommon early mosque in Negev

RAHAT: Israeli archaeologists on Wednesday unveiled a uncommon historic mosque within the nation’s south that the antiquities officers mentioned sheds mild on the area’s transition from Christianity to Islam.

The stays of the mosque, believed to be greater than 1,200 years outdated, have been found throughout works to construct a brand new neighborhood within the Bedouin metropolis of Rahat, the Israel Antiquities Authority mentioned in an announcement.

The mosque positioned within the Negev desert comprises “a sq. room and a wall going through the route of Makkah,” with a half-circle area of interest in that wall pointing to the south, the IAA mentioned.

“These distinctive architectural options present that the constructing was used as a mosque,” the authority mentioned, noting it in all probability hosted a couple of dozen worshippers at a time.

A brief distance from the mosque, a “luxurious property constructing” was additionally found, with stays of tableware and glass artifacts pointing to the wealth of its residents, the IAA mentioned.

Three years in the past, the authority unearthed one other mosque close by from the identical period of the seventh to eighth century AD, calling the 2 Islamic locations of worship “among the many earliest recognized worldwide.”

The mosques, property and different houses discovered close by illuminate “the historic course of that befell within the northern Negev with the introduction of a brand new faith — the faith of Islam, and a brand new rulership and tradition within the area,” the IAA mentioned.

“These have been step by step established, inheriting the sooner Byzantine authorities and the Christian faith that held sway over the land for a whole bunch of years.”

The Muslim conquest of the area occurred within the first half of the seventh century.

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