Mosque Name: Har Oded - Open-Air Mosques

Country: Negev

City: Rural, Negev Highlands

Year of construction (AD): 700-799

GPS: 30.508363 34.755601

Original Qibla: Unknown

Rebuilt facing Mecca: never


This site is 2.5 km east of the Nahal Oded site (Rosen and Avni 1989; Rosen and Avni in press). The nomadic settlement consists of 15 circular and oval dwellings with entrances facing southeast. Several large sheep pens were found nearby. On a hilltop overlooking the settlement is an open-type rectangular mosque designated by a double row of medium-sized fieldstones sunken into the ground (figures. 2, 7). The structure faces southsoutheast, and in its southern wall is a gap in the line of stones where the mihrab niche usually appears. Gideon Avne suggests that either the niche was destroyed, or a single stone may have stood there similar to that in the Nahal Oded mosque. But perhaps this mosque pre-dates the invention of the mihrab niche. In which case a flat wall was sufficient.

Six mosques, Negev Highlands

Six mosques, Negev Highlands

Chart showing mihrab directions in the Negev

Chart showing mihrab directions in the Negev

Information taken from:

Early Mosques in the Negev Highlands: New Archaeological Evidence on Islamic Penetration of Southern Palestine Author: Gideon Avni Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research, No. 294 (May, 1994), pp. 83-100

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