One of the Holy Land’s earliest mosques was recently excavated in Israel’s Negev Desert. Announced yesterday, the discovery in the Bedouin city of Rahat was made while preparing to develop the area into a neighborhood. The small open-air sanctuary with a rounded prayer niche was probably used by local farmers in the seventh or eighth centuries.
What’s the significance of the find? Archaeologist Gideon Avni said it was one of the oldest known mosques in the region, and indicates “the processes of cultural and religious change” between the Byzantine and early Islamic eras.
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