Entertainment: Ancient Mosaics of Madaba

July 17th 2023 in Explore
Entertainment: Ancient Mosaics of Madaba

Ancient Mosaic art in Madaba Jordan

While many tourist locations require you to look up, the old trading city of Madaba does not. The city has the "largest number of mosaics discovered in their original location in the world," with many of them on the flooring of churches and buildings across the city.

The very inconspicuous St. George's Church houses one of Jordan's most notable mosaics: the Madaba Mosaic Map. The Holy Land during the Byzantine period is depicted on this 6th-century map, which features Biblical-era cartography. While some of the original two million tiles have been lost, the map's fragments provide an unparalleled insight into what the Middle East looked like several centuries ago.

More mosaics can be found at Madaba's two archaeological parks. Archaeological Park I's open-air museum houses a geometric mosaic from the Church of the Virgin Mary, a 6th-century site discovered in someone's basement in 1887. This attraction also features Jordan's earliest mosaic, dating back to the 1st century BC, and stunning carpet-like tile work depicting the four seasons and nature that was previously in a Byzantine villa.

Other remarkable mosaics can be seen at Archaeological Park II, housed in the ruins of a stately home from the early sixth century.