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The remains of a humble house of worship have been discovered in Rahat, Israel.
While surveying the site before the construction of a new neighborhood, archaeologists uncovered the remains of a rural mosque, one of the earliest known from this region. The building dates to around A.D. 600 or 700, according to the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), when Rahat was far less populated farmland.
Mosques - Era - Structure - Building - Farmers
Unlike some of the large, urban mosques of that era, the newly-discovered structure was a simple, rectangular building that likely served farmers who lived nearby.
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History - Israel - Discoveries - Construction - Projects
Given the rich cultural history of Israel, archaeological discoveries are common during new construction projects. Local youth and bedouin assisted with the digs as part of the IAA's Legacy Project, which pays youth groups to take part in archaeological excavations.
The mosque was an open-air building, identifiable by its mihrab, or prayer niche, which faced south, toward Mecca.
Features - Evidence - Purpose - Building - Years
"These features are evidence for the purpose for which this building was used, many hundred years ago," Seligman and Zur said in the statement.
Nearby, the archaeologists found the remnants of a farm from the period, when Israel was a part of the Byzantine Empire, dating to around A.D. 500 to 600. They also discovered a settlement...
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