Second Possible Seventh-Century Mosque Uncovered in Israel

Israel Mosque AerialRAHAT, ISRAEL—According to a Haaretz report, a second structure that may have served as an early mosque some 1,200 years ago has been found in southern Israel’s northern Negev Desert by a team of researchers led by Oren Shmueli, Elena Kogan-Zehavi, and Noe David Michael of the Israel Antiquities Authority. The first structure was uncovered in 2019 about two miles away from the second structure, which also consists of a square room with a wall facing the Kaaba in Mecca and a half-circle-shaped niche called a mihrab. It is not clear if the two mosques were in use at the same time, but they could have been used by people living on adjacent farms in the rural region. The area was abandoned after 150 to 200 years, in the ninth century A.D. To read about another early mosque unearthed in the city of Tiberias, go to “Around the World: Israel.”


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