Saudi Press

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Monday, Apr 15, 2024

1200-year old architectural patterns of Othman bin Affan Mosque discovered in Historic Jeddah

New findings reveal that the 1,200-year-old Othman bin Affan Mosque in Historic Jeddah features ancient architectural designs.
The Jeddah Historic District Program (JHDP) made the announcement during the first phase of their Archaeology Project. Excavations have uncovered hundreds of ancient artifacts, some dating as far back as 1,200 years, according to the Saudi Press Agency.

The mosque's numerous restorations follow the traditional architecture of historic Jeddah, with an open courtyard and covered prayer hall. However, the most current form of the mosque was constructed in the late 20th century. The mihrab and the core mosque structure have remained largely unchanged for over a millennium.

Restorations over the years have involved various floor materials such as clay tiles and traditional tiles in use for 400 years. Floor masons, since the end of the Mamluk era (15th-16th century), have consistently reused 14th-century tiles during renovations.

One significant structural change was the construction of a groundwater tank beneath the mosque approximately 800 years ago—a common feature in historic Jeddah due to limited water resources.

Archaeologists have found fragments of Chinese porcelain, celadon vessels, and pieces of glazed pottery, with some pieces estimated to be among the oldest discovered in the mosque.

As part of the Archaeology Project's initial phase, the JHDP reported 25,000 artifact fragments from Historic Jeddah's four archaeological sites. This helps to enhance understanding of Jeddah's cultural heritage and the city's historical significance.

This project, which began in January 2020, is exploring key historical locations, aiming to preserve Saudi national antiquities and promote Historic Jeddah as a cultural and tourist destination aligned with Saudi Vision 2030.

The initiative is part of the Historic Jeddah Revival Project championed by Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman, aiming to unearth artifacts from the early Islamic era.

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