Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Another 7th-century mosque excavated in Rahat

ARCHAEOLOGY: One of the oldest known mosques in the world uncovered in Negev Bedouin city Rahat. New discovery joins a second very early mosque dated to the 7th century, when Islam was just beginning to spread in the Holy Land (Amanda Borschel-Dan, Times of Israel).
The small 7th-century CE prayer hall was uncovered during salvage excavations ahead of the construction of new neighborhoods in the Negev Bedouin city of Rahat. It is located some two kilometers from another 7th-century rural mosque that was excavated in 2019.


What the scholars are seeing is that “Islam came very, very early in the northern Negev and began to live alongside the Christian settlement,” said Kogan-Zehavi.

Aside from the mosque, the archaeologists uncovered a Byzantine-era farmhouse that they said apparently housed Christian farmers. It included a fortified tower and rooms with strong walls surrounding a courtyard.

I missed the report of the early mosque found in 2019, which was not a good summer for me. But a third seventh-century mosque was also found last year in Tiberias. Reportedly, the latter is "the oldest mosque in the world that can be excavated."

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