Mecca in Archeology

From Does archeology support the Quran?

According to the Qur’an, Mecca was the first and most important city in the world. Adam placed the black stone in the original Ka’ba (sanctuary) there, while Abraham and Ishmael rebuilt the Meccan Ka’ba centuries later (Sura 2:125-127). Mecca was allegedly the centre of Arabian trading routes before Muhammad’s time.

Yet there is no archeological corroboration for this. Such a great ancient city would surely have received a mention in ancient history. However, the earliest reference to Mecca as a city is in the Continuato Byzantia Arabica, an 8th century document. Mecca is certainly not on the natural overland trade routes- it is a barren valley requiring a one hundred mile detour. Moreover, there was only maritime Graeco-Roman trade with India after the first century, controlled by the Ethiopian Red Sea port Adulis, not by the Arabs. If Mecca was not even a viable city, let alone a great commercial centre until after Muhammad’s time, the Qur’an is seriously in doubt.


Azooz said…
This is a new one to me :)

Ancient Mecca had plenty of water, for that reason it was very important to any trade route thru Arabia. It was not a 'detour' for Mecca had lots of very rich people who sent their own caravans North to Palestine and South to Yemen, it was a major stop on both.

From the Arabic language:
The first month of the Arabian lunar year is still called "Moh'aram" the "sanctuary" month. During that month the desert tribes stoped their inter-tribal wars so the pilgramge to Mecca could go thru safely - for well over 2,000 years before Islam.

I do have a lot more inforamtion if required, but it is all easily available for any historian willing to spend time on it. The history of Mecca before Islam is of little interest to most Muslims.

Abu Daoud said…
Hi Azooz, please do provide some links and I will check them out. Shukran.
PeterS said…

Interesting blog...

I do not believe that the Quran establishes Mecca as the permanent Qibla. It appears to me that Jerusalem was intended to be the site for the Hajj and Qibla (though the Qibla was temp. moved to Mecca as an apparent test).

Check out this link for an argument from the Quran for the above:

kol tuv,
Uzza said…
Mecca was an important oasis from the dawn of time, with the arabian zam zam stream.
Mecca did exist before the advent of Christianity -Secular historical evidence

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