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Dear Mr. Morris,
Thanks for your work–you sound like someone who is unafraid to think critically about both traditional and revisionist approaches, which I appreciate. I’m wondering if you have heard of the archaeological work done by Dan Gibson on early qiblas, and if you would be interested in reviewing his work on your blog or in a published book review. His main thesis is found here:
while the full argument with supporting evidence and background is found here:
(I believe the second link may contain a few updates and revisions to the first link.) I’m sure there must be some holes in some of his supporting evidence claims, but I am most interested in seeing how scholars of early Islamic history engage with the main archaeological evidence he presents, since it seems to me that, if his data is anywhere near accurate, the claim of an early change of qibla from Jerusalem to Mecca is clearly falsified, while it does seem that Petra or somewhere in the region seems to be not just an accidental product of measurement error, but an actual target in the minds of mosque builders for the first century AH.
Thank you for any thoughts or critiques you have of Mr. Gibson’s work.
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