Remains of a rare ancient mosque, believed to be 1,200 years old, were discovered in the Bedouin city of Rahat, in southern Israel.
The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) said it sheds light on the region’s transition from Christianity to Islam.
At the short distance from the mosque, a “luxurious estate building” was also discovered, with remains of tableware and glass artefacts, pointing to the wealth of its residents, the IAA said.
Three years ago, the authority unearthed another mosque nearby from the same era of the seventh to eighth century AD.
The mosques, estate and other homes found nearby illuminate “the historical process that took place in the northern Negev with the introduction of a new religion — the religion of Islam, — and a new rulership and culture in the region”, the IAA said.
The Muslim conquest of the region occured in the first half of the seventh century.
The IAA said the mosques found in Rahat would be preserved in their current locations, whether as historic monuments or as active place of prayer.