(ORDO NEWS) — A mosque dating back to the early days of Islam was discovered by archaeologists in the Israeli city of Tiberias on the West Bank of the Sea of Galilee.
This is reported by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
“It is a rectangle measuring 22 by 49 meters and with a courtyard of indeterminate size. The architecture of the building indicates that this is the main mosque of the city, where members of the community held Friday sermons. With the help of found coins and ceramics, the building was dated to the 7th century, soon after the Muslim conquest Palestine, “the press release says.
Since the first mosques are especially revered and serve as the basis for new construction of this kind, excavations usually cannot be carried out.
“The oldest until now was the Alham Mosque, Wasit (Iraq), built in 703. Thus, the mosque discovered in Tiberias is the oldest explored in the world,” said archaeologist Katya Kitrin-Silverman of Haarets, who led the excavation.
She stressed that the find allows you to look at how the first temples looked.
“The first mosque in Egypt is in the same place to this day, but it has changed over the years and we do not know how it was originally. The same happened in Jerusalem. We also do not know what the Medina mosque looked like; we we can only theorize, based on sources, that it was simple and made from the trunks of palm trees, “said the archaeologist.
In addition, Kitrin-Silverman pointed out that the construction technology of the mosque was different from that common in Palestine at that time:
“A simple and pragmatic style, uncharacteristic for the region, apparently first came to Israel at the beginning of the Arab conquest in the 7th century. It could be a technology that originated in the Arabian Peninsula.”
An interesting detail is the VX century Byzantine church excavated next to the mosque. Researchers believe that there should be a monumental synagogue nearby:
“It was a multi-denominational area and a very touching symbol of regional coexistence. While these monumental structures were in the city center, the time when they were active is considered the period of the city’s maximum prosperity,” said Kitrin-Silverman.
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