I am always interested in reading about new archaeological discoveries in Jordan, since I worked on an archaeological site in Petra (the Pool and Garden Complex) in the summer of 2011. While I didn’t visit Jerash during my trip, the newly discovered mosaic sounds quite a bit like some of the mosaics I saw while in Petra, specifically in the Temple of the Winged Lions. (Unfortunately none of my pictures of these particular mosaics turned out!)
Read an excerpt from the article about the Jerash mosaic below, and you can also find the link to the full article.
“Looting of archaeological sites in Jordan is a widespread problem, yet this time it has brought to light the mosaic floor of a previously undiscovered Byzantine-era church near the Roman city of Jerash.
“Underneath about a metre of soil, the mosaic floor of Kanisat Qirmerl was almost perfectly preserved,” Jacques Seigne, director of the French Archaeological Mission at Jerash, told The Jordan Times.
The floor, around five by seven metres in size, is in full colour and depicts an unusual scene of men climbing up trees to hide from bears and lions.
According to the inscription, which mentions the patron and mosaicist of the floor, the mosaics date back to AD 589-590.
The remains were found outside the ancient city of Jerash, located around 40km north of Amman, on private property, Seigne said.
Jerash, known as Gerasa during the Greco-Roman period, reached its greatest size in the 6th century AD as part of the Byzantine Empire.
The Department of Antiquities (DoA), under the leadership of its Jerash director, Rafe Harahshah, has just concluded a 45-day rescue operation to uncover and secure the site with the help of Seigne and his team.
“Looters were digging in the night and discovered the mosaics by chance,” Harahshah and his colleague Ali Al Owaisi told The Jordan Times.
“The next morning one of the looters came to the DoA office in Jerash and told us about it, which is not very common… this meant we could respond quickly,” he noted.
Read the full article here.
– Petra’s Roman Mosaic Floors
– Paige’s Published Work on the Petra Pool and Garden Complex (2011)
– Previous Blog Post About Petra
– Jerash Mosaic article
– Byzantine Church in Petra