Photo: GETTY IMAGES Ancient mosque found in Israel mosque
The discovery shed light on the anthropological understanding of the cultural heritage of the Negev desert region.
In Israel, archaeologists have discovered one of the world's oldest mosques under a city in the Negev desert. The discovery is 1200 years old, writes News Artnet.
The structure has a square shape with a small a semicircular recess in the southern wall, located towards Mecca. Ceramics dating back to the 7th and 8th centuries were also found there.
“In 2019, another mosque from about the same era was discovered about 1.6 km away. However, there were no artifacts in it. Both buildings served a rural farming settlement that existed at that time. What is unique about our mosque is the distribution of 7th century pottery at the site, making it one of the earliest mosques in the world”, – noted the archaeologist and co-director of the excavations, Elena Kogan-Zehavi.
It is noted that the discovery helped reinforce an anthropological understanding of the rich cultural heritage of the Negev desert region.
“Although Islam originated around 610 in present-day Saudi Arabia, it was not until the ninth century that it became the majority religion in Israel. Given this timeline, the rare mosques of the 7th century help us learn about the spread of Islam”, – archaeologists added.