A luxury property unearthed by archaeologists from the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) dates back to the early days of Islam.
The team made the discovery during construction work on a new neighborhood in the city of Rahat in the Negev desert, located in southern Israel.
The region was previously ruled by the Al-Tayaha tribe (Al-Hezeel clan), a Bedouin people from the Negev who settled in the Sinai Peninsula in the early years of the Muslim conquests, writes Heritage Daily.
A luxury property unearthed by archaeologists has a rock-cut water tank
This luxury property unearthed by archaeologists is large, with a central courtyard, and sits above a vaulted complex and a 10-foot-deep rock-cut water tank; all these date from the beginning of the Golden Age of Islam, in the 8th-9th centuries AD.
The property has four wings, one of which has a hall paved with marble and stone floors and walls decorated with frescoes with finely colored pigments of red, yellow, blue and black.
Some of the other rooms have a plaster floor and large cooking ovens, where fragments of delicate glass dishes have also been found.
The discoveries will be open to the public
“The luxurious estate and impressive underground vaults are proof of the wealth of the owners. Their status and wealth allowed them to build a luxurious mansion that served as a residence as well as for entertainment,” said excavation directors Oren Shmueli, Dr. Elena Kogan-Zehavi, and Dr. Noé D. Michael.
“The Israel Antiquities Authority and the Bedouin Development and Settlement Authority are jointly planning to preserve and display the finds for the general public,” said Eli Eskosido, director of the Israel Antiquities Authority.