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

Description:

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


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