Researchers locate Souq from life of Prophet Muhammad in Makkahtext_fields
Jeddah: An ancient souq that was one of the most significant Arab markets throughout the pre-Islamic and early Islamic periods has been found by a Saudi research team near Makkah.
The King Abdulaziz Foundation for Research and Archives, the Ministry of Culture, and its Heritage Commission collaborated to find the location of the market called Souq Habasha.
A historic seasonal Arab market, Souq Habasha was one of the biggest in the Tihamah region to the west of the Arabian Peninsula. Beginning on the first day of Rajab in the Islamic calendar, the souq was held annually for eight days until the Islamic year 197. (813 A.D.), Arab News reported.
Fahd Al-Samari, the foundation's secretary-general and head of the Souq Habasha scientific committee, made a statement in a video that was posted on Darah's official Twitter account.
He said: “Documenting historical information must be within a specific methodology. Therefore, the department has entered a number of experiences in documentation, such as documenting the Okaz market, and some sites from the Prophet Muhammad’s biography in the Kingdom. The Habasha market will be an ancient historical and cultural asset for the Kingdom.”
Abdullah Al-Zahrani, a member of the Souq Habasha scientific committee, said: “This collaboration project was made to locate the souq and it is a good example of joint cooperation between many parties as well as researchers, historians, geographers and prophet’s biography experts who will add a lot to verify this site.”
For more than 40 years, studies and research endeavours have sought to pinpoint the location of the market with field sites suggested by the committee ultimately examined last year.
Another member of the Souq Habasha scientific committee, Abdullah Al-Welaie, stated: “We worked on drawing complete caravan routes, including the coastal road, the Tihama road, peaks of the Sarawat Mountains, as well as the Elephant road. Four tracks were drawn on accurate maps that really helped determine the location of the market and were then handed over to historians.”
According to historians, the market is mentioned in the life of the Prophet Muhammad, who took part in the souq to trade before his mission.
In order to pinpoint the location of Souq Habasha, the team carried out research, verified sources, and conducted an archaeological investigation after speaking with qualified sources.
Markets in the past have often been found in places with lots of water, rain, and grazing land. Accordingly, Souq Habasha was situated at Ardiyat, a coastal city in the Makkah region, on the southern bank of Wadi Qanuna.
It is situated in the centre of a vast floodplain that is bordered by the Al-Durbat mountains to the east, the five-kilometre-long Al-'Irm mountains to the west, and the Umm Al-Rimth mountains to the south. This location is in a huge area where plant life and water sources are abundant.
Al-Janad street, one of the key features used to pinpoint the souq's location, is another street that the market travels through.
With its integration into the Okaz market, which has been revived, Souq Habasha offers experts the chance to examine ancient economic, literary, and cultural activity. It has also benefited the fields of science, culture, and tourism.