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Europe is the oldest mosque that can be buried under the ground, this Visigothic city of

A geomagnetic take a look at the Reccopolis at the end of 2015.
Copyright Antiquity Publications Ltd.; Photograph, J. Hemming, and E. Fikrit Eyub; Henning, J., et al. In the ancient times, to 2019.)

Archeologists have discovered the long-hidden features, from a Visigothic city in Spain, including the unexplored areas of a palace and in a building which is, perhaps, one of the oldest mosques in Europe.

Without digging, the researchers used a geomagnetic instrument, in order to reveal the walls and other structures are still buried under the ground at the Reccopolis, that is, it is in a rural area outside of Madrid, spain. They found that of the 1,400-year-old city was much larger than that of the ruins visible at the site today, it would suggest that it did.

“In every area that we were able to survey, we found the buildings and streets of the city and of forced passage,” study co-author, with Michael McCormick, a medieval historian and archaeologist at Harvard University, told Science. [10 Epic Battles That Changed History]

The Visigoths were a Germanic people, which is a kingdom in south-western Europe in Late Antiquity, the middle Ages began. They are famously sacked Rome in the year 410. In the second half of the sixth century, the Iberian Peninsula was the centre of the Visigothic power. King, Leovigild, made his royal capital at Toledo, Spain, switzerland, and further downstream along the banks of the River, and he built a city, and called it Reccopolis at 578.

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The excavations are still on-Reccopolis for a few years, but so far, archaeologists have uncovered only about 8% of the area within the walls of the city. When McCormick visited the site at the end of 2014, he saw the remains of a palace, a chapel and a few shops. However, he teased his friend, a study co-investigator and the excavation director, Lauro Olmo Enciso, of the University of Alcalá in Spain, the question is, “Where is the rest of the world?”

The researcher and a couple of co-workers together in the next year, the first geomagnetic survey of the site. This is a non-invasive exploration technique, allows researchers to be able to see underground structures, the mapping of the magnetic anomalies at the surface of the Earth. Their results showed that the empty spaces between the walls of the city of Reccopolis were full of hidden streets and buildings. There was even one in a suburb outside of the city, a monumental gate. The findings were published last week in the journal Antiquity.

“Thanks to the new geomagnetic survey, we learned that the space surrounded by the walls of the city had been fully developed, and that the population was large enough, it can even spill out beyond the walls of the town,” says Noel Lenski, a professor of classics and history at Yale University, who was not involved in the study. “It is just as important that it is done in a period of a long time been thought to be characterized by urban decay and the demographic breakdown.”

Reccopolis it was, indeed, erected in the midst of the turmoil of the sixth century. From Western Europe to China, from the time connected with mass migration, imperial collapse, food shortages, and famine, and the first major outbreak of the bubonic plague. Researchers have recently found that there is a period of rapid climate change, the so-called Late-Antique mini-ice age, which lasted from 536 to about 660, and is caused by a series of volcanic eruptions in the Northern Hemisphere, that may have been the catalyst for widespread unrest.

“It’s really remarkable to see how the Visigothic monarchy and the coming together at this time, and the assembly of the resources to be able to find a in a new city,” McCormick said.

The Visigoth rulers of the region have been deposed during the Islamic conquest of 711; and the new geophysical evidence shows signs of Islamic occupation, and before the city was abandoned around 800.

The researchers found that there is a big building with a different orientation from all the other buildings on the site, it is in the direction of Mecca. The plan seems to be that of islam in the Middle East and so on. McCormick said the only excavation will be able to confirm that the building was indeed a mosque. However, if it is, it may be the oldest surviving mosque in Europe.

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Originally published on Live Science.

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