The site dates back about 1,300 years and represents a rare find in an area rich in archaeological resources in Iraq.
Baghdad, Iraq- Officials said that an excavation mission at the British Museum, together with a local Iraqi team, discovered a dirt mosque dating back to 60 AD or 679 AD in the archaeological resource-rich Dhi Qar province in the south of the country.
This mosque is located in the town of al-Rafa’i, in the center of a residential city. The mosque is approximately eight meters (26 feet) wide and five meters (16 feet) long. According to the latest excavations, there is a small shrine for imams in the middle of the mosque, which can accommodate 25 people.
Ali Shalgham, head of the province’s investigation and excavation department, called this discovery “one of the most important and greatest discoveries” because it was built entirely of clay and dates back to the early days of Islam.
According to Shalgem, there are few archaeological religious sites that date back to the Umayyad era. However, due to erosion, not much information about Islam at that time was disclosed.
“In revealing the early Islamic period, we found very little information,” Shalgem told the state-run Iraqi news agency. “The mud found was found near the surface of the site, so due to the erosion of water, wind and rain, only a few remnants of the building remained.”
“Shy financial allocation”
Zigar Province has a large number of archaeological sites, including the ruins of Ur in the Sumerian city-state of ancient Mesopotamia.During his time Historical visit Last year in Iraq, Pope Francis also visited Ur.
Recently, its rich archaeological resources have also attracted foreign missions. For example, a French excavation team recently discovered the palace of King Sin-Ednam at the Larsa archaeological site in Tulul al-Sinkara in the province. The Russian-Iraqi archaeological team also discovered an ancient settlement about 4,000 years old earlier this year.
However, due to many years Conflict and poor financial managementIn the past few years, this oil-rich country has not shown a clear interest in archaeology.
Hassan al-Salami, an Iraqi archaeology researcher, told Nasiriyah News Network: “In the past few years, insufficient financial allocations to the sector have weakened research and exploration missions in Iraq.”
“The next period will witness the discovery of important archaeological landmarks in Dhi Qar, especially in the presence of the mission and their cooperation with the provincial cultural relics department.”
In an interview with a local news channel, Amar Abdul Razak, head of the Antiquities Department of Zikar, called on the next government to make the province the “archaeological capital of Iraq.”
“The number of foreign and local tourists has doubled this season. This is an opportunity to seize,” Razak said.