Mosque Name: Nahal Oded Open-Air Mosques

Country: Negev

City: Rural, Negev Highlands

Year of construction (AD): 700-799

GPS: 30.504929 34.707352

Original Qibla: Unknown

Rebuilt facing Mecca: never


The settlement is at the foot of the southwest slope of Mount Oded, on the bank of Nahal Oded (Rosen and Avni 1989; Rosen and Avni in press). A solitary structure-a rectangular enclosure with rounded corers, measuring 5 x 8 m, with an opening facing north-overlooks the settlement from a prominence. The wall is one course high (0.5 m) and is built of a double row of flat, upright stones with a filler of small stones and gravel. In the center of the south wall stands a stone slab (height 1.2 m, width 0.75 m). Although no mihrab niche exists, the structure was probably an open-type mosque, judging by its location relative to the settlement and the alignment of the upright stone, which is the same as that of the mihrab in the other mosques.

The settlement at the foot of the mosque consists of 25 circular and oval dwellings, several animal pens, and a large rectangular structure. The walls of the dwellings were constructed of two rows of roughly-hewn fieldstones with a gravel filler. Beside one dwelling is an open air cult site with a large stone slab standing on its narrow side and a paved stone surface leading up to it. Sherds dating from the end of the Byzantine period and the Early Islamic period, as well as an eighth century C.E. coin, were discovered during the excavations.

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

Page Discussion

Membership is required to comment. Membership is free of charge and available to everyone over the age of 16. Just click SignUp, or make a comment below. You will need a user name and a password. The system will automatically send a code to your email address. It should arrive in a few minutes. Enter the code, and you are finished.

Members who post adverts or use inappropriate language or make disrespectful comments will have their membership removed and be barred from the site. By becoming a member you agree to our Terms of Use and our Privacy, Cookies & Ad Policies. Remember that we will never, under any circumstances, sell or give your email address or private information to anyone unless required by law. Please keep your comments on topic. Thanks!