This Ancient Mosque in Israel May Have Been Built Just a Few Years After Muhammed’s Death

This rural mosque most likely served close-by farmers at some point in between A.D. 600 and 700.

Credit: Israel Antiquities Authority

The remains of a simple holy place have been found in Rahat, Israel.

While surveying the website prior to the building and construction of a brand-new area, archaeologists revealed the remains of a rural mosque, among the earliest understood from this area. The structure dates to around A.D. 600 or 700, according to the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), when Rahat was far less inhabited farmland. 

Unlike a few of the big, metropolitan mosques of that age, the newly-discovered structure was a easy, rectangle-shaped structure that most likely served farmers who lived close-by.

“A little rural mosque, dated to the 7th to 8th centuries C.E. [common era], is a unusual finding anywhere in the world, specifically in the location north of Be’er Sheva, where no comparable structure has actually formerly been found,” excavation directors Jon Seligman and Shahar Zur stated in a declaration from the IAA. [The Holy Land: 7 Amazing Archaeological Finds]

Offered the abundant cultural history of Israel, historical discoveries prevail throughout brand-new building and construction tasks. Regional youth and bedouin helped with the digs as part of the IAA’s Tradition Job, which pays youth groups to participate in historical excavations.

The mosque was an al fresco structure, recognizable by its mihrab, or prayer specific niche, which dealt with south, towards Capital.

“These features are evidence for the purpose for which this building was used, many hundred years ago,” Seligman and Zur stated in the declaration.

Close by, the archaeologists discovered the residues of a farm from the duration, when Israel was a part of the Byzantine Empire, dating to around A.D. 500 to 600. They likewise found a settlement from the very same period as the mosque. That settlement was most likely built just a few years after Muhammed, the creator of Islam, passed away in A.D. 632, throughout the Arab conquest of the Levant area (that includes Israel) in A.D. 636.  

“The discovery of the village and the mosque in its vicinity are a significant contribution to the study of the history of the country during this turbulent period,” Gideon Avni, the head of the archaeology department at the IAA and a speaker at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, stated in the declaration.

The mosque mean the cultural and spiritual modifications that included Arab rulership, Avni stated. Historic Islamic files recommend that senior Arab authorities were provided plots of land, recommending that the mosque and settlement might connect to this redistribution of residential or commercial property, he stated. Additional excavations may expose more about the origin of the settlement, he included.

The settlement was most likely farming, the archaeologists stated. Structures in the town were partitioned into spaces, storage areas and open yards. Residues of outdoor ovens called tabbuns are still noticeable in the ruins.

Archaeologists are now working to figure out how to incorporate the historical site into the recently built area.

Initially released on Live Science.

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