June 2, 2023

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Excavations in the Israeli desert uncover a 1200-year-old ‘mosque’

Highlights of the story

  • The 1200 year old mosque was discovered during excavations
  • Remains of a mosque were found in the foothills of Rahat

Israeli archaeologist says excavations have uncovered a mosque several years old. The Archaeological Survey of Israel (IAA) has released a report stating that the ruins of the mosque are believed to be more than 1,200 years old.

The mosque was discovered during excavations in the Israeli city of Rahat, Biduwen. The remains of the mosque are in the Negro Desert, with a rectangular room and its wall facing Mecca.

The IAA said the unique architecture of the remains suggests that the building may have been a mosque.

The IAA said a luxury building was also found during excavations a short distance from the mosque. Remains of the archeological site of this building show that the rich lived here.

The IAA discovered another mosque three years ago during excavations in a nearby area, dating to the seventh or eighth century. These have been described as the oldest mosques in the world.

Excavations of mosques, buildings and other houses indicate the arrival of a new religion in the northern Negev, the IAA said. This removes the screen from the historical process of the journey from Christianity to Islam in the region.

He said the process of domination from Christianity to Islam was gradually established. Previously, there was a Byzantine state and Christianity, which was followed by the people here for hundreds of years. After this, Muslims came here at the beginning of the seventh century. This is how Islam spread here.

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The IAA says mosques dug in Rahat will be preserved on existing sites.