Stone Figure: Proof That Christians Influenced Mecca?
Archaeologist digs up ancient find in Yemen
By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff
Posted Dec 31, 2012 6:40 PM CST
A stone figure discovered in Yemen that may show Christian influence at the heart of an ancient Arab empire.   (Paul Yule)

(Newser) – A new discovery in Yemen may prove that a Christian church existed there and influenced Mecca around the time of the prophet Muhammad, the Daily Mail reports. Paul Yule, an archaeologist from Germany, found the stone carving of a Christian figure in the city of Zafar and dated it to about 530AD. He says evidence from other sites in Zafar indicate that it was home to a vast Arab tribal confederation that ruled even Mecca, about 581 miles to the north.

The multicultural confederation—home to Arabs, Jews, and Christians—flourished between the 3rd and 5th centuries and managed the influential port of Aden in southern Yemen, says Yule. But tensions over the advance of Christianity led Arab kings to attack a Christian colony in the Saudi Arabian city of Najran—sparking a holy war with Byzantines and Africans that ended with the triumph of Islam in the 7th century, reports Der Spiegel. As for the stone figure, Yule says it probably depicts a descendant of Africans who arrived in 525AD to spread Christianity.

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Showing 3 of 84 comments
jgarbuz
Jan 3, 2013 9:57 AM CST
After Muhammad, Christians and Jews were banned from living in the Hijaz, the core holy lands of Islam, which includes present day Saudi Arabia and Jordan. It is illegal, by Muhammad's decree, for non-Muslims to even visit, much less live in Mecca and Medina.
Libris_Fidelis
Jan 1, 2013 12:09 PM CST
Good grief, it just amazes me how people dis-avow history! There was no writing until the conquering Greeks in the so-called "Middle East" became the first historians in the world -- hence the great Library in Alexandria which the Romans later destroyed out of ignorant jealousy! It was the Greek Biblo that pre-dated Jesus by a century-and-a-half, and copies of Biblo went all throughout the area! Christianity came into being about 60 years after the alleged Jesus was crucified, and the Christians did not like Biblo so they removed half of it and re-wrote it into what is now called "the Old Testament". Only the Catholic Church in Rome has three original partial copies of Biblo which shows why the Old Testament has only names in Greek names! From Biblo came the Torah and later the Q'uran, as Biblo served as the model for each of them!
Observer
Jan 1, 2013 9:17 AM CST
So what? Religion is bigoted by design. Non-believers can be raped, plundered and killed and your imaginary God smiles down on you as a hero conqueror. The sooner fake religious beliefs disappear, the better off the world will be.