it's one thing to say that one harbors serious doubts/qs about Mecca and its relationship to the Qur'an but yet another thing altogether to buy into the Petra-thesis w/out applying the same skepticism to claims wheeled out to support it.
Many amateurs and autodidacts are far more knowledgeable than I or, for that matter, many professional academics. Gibson, though, is not one of them. Petra was bishopric see in the 6th century, so not the first place that one would go to sacrifice animals on anṣāb, etc.
Again. I already said this here...
Dr Anthony - one of the arguments from Dan Gibson is that there is a lack of archeological evidence in Mecca dating back to a 7th century Islam. Is that true? If so what would explain it?
I've written a bit about the 7th century evidence for Mecca here:
In this response to Pro( Hawting's Presidential Address, I offer my views on
the centrality of the Meccan sanctuary to the message of the Qur'an in the
early Meccan period, its subsequent salience in the Medinan period, and
the evidence for its continued importance for the Muslims of the seventh
century. Reverence for the Meccan sanctuary, I argue, was pivotal to the early
community's self-understanding as a discrete community, both distinct from
the "People of the Book" (ahl al-kitab) and as a successor community with a
shared biblical lineage. I contend, moreover, that reverence for a sanctuary
in Mecca and its attendant rites was regarded as a touchstone feature of the
religiosity of the newly hegemonic conquerors from Arabia by some of the
earliest contemporary observers of the conquests and their aftermath.
One does not have the article, only the abstract.
Anthony confuses importance and existence. All the "earliest contemporary observers of the conquests and their aftermath" there are none who speak of what is specific to Islam: Mecca/Kaba/Medina/Abu Bakr (the first Muslim), etc.
I would like to begin my response to Pro( Hawting's excellent address by
taking us somewhat far afield-beyond the l:Iijaz at least-to consider briefly
a passage from the ecclesiastical history of Sozomen, a historian from the
Gaza region writing in the middle of the fifth century CE. Sozomen describes
in this passage a famous pilgrimage site in Roman Palestine called the Oak
of Mamre, located approximately fifteen stadia north of Hebron, as it existed
in the early fourth century CE prior the Christianization of the region by
emperor Constantine I (r. 306/312-337). I single out Sozomen's description
of the Oak of Mamre because, much like the "Inviolable Place of Worship"
(al-masjid al-~aram) described in the Qur'an, this site was connected to the
biblical patriarch Abraham and was the focal point of veneration by the local
population and a multitude of outsiders drawn into its orbit. Of this village
called Mamre, Sozomen writes (Hist. eccl. 2.4):1
It attests that Palestinians Arabs had already interiorized that there were the sons of Abraham. I already address the topic here.
You believe that Islam originated in today’s Mecca?
No response by Anthony.