Sunday, 20 November 2011 11:10 administrator

It is best known for its Byzantine and Umayyad mosaics, especially a large Byzantine-era mosaic map of The Holy Land. Madaba is located 30 kilometers south-west of the capital Amman. The first mosaics were discovered purely by chance during the building of the new permanent dwellings using squared-up stones from the old monuments. The new inhabitants of Madaba, made conscious of the importance of the mosaics by their priests, made sure that they took care of and preserved all the mosaics that came to light. The Map of Madaba mosaic was discovered in 1896 and the findings were published a year later. This discovery drew the attention of scholars worldwide. It also positively influenced the inhabitants, who shared the contagious passion of F. Giuseppe Manfredi, to whom the rediscovery of most of the city's mosaics are owed. Madaba became known as the "City of Mosaics" in Jordan.



St. George Church:  The Madaba Mosaic Map is an index map of the region, dating from the sixth century CE, preserved in the floor of the Greek Orthodox Basilica of Saint George. With two million pieces of colored stone, the map depicts hills and valleys, villages and towns in Palestine and the Nile Delta. The mosaic contains the earliest extant representation of Byzantine Jerusalem, labeled the "Holy City." The map provides important details as to its 6th century landmarks, with the cardo, or central colonnaded street and the Holy Sepulchre clearly visible. This map is one key in developing scholarly knowledge about the physical layout of Jerusalem after its destruction and rebuilding in 70 CE.

The Mosaic School: There is no doubt that the opening of the Madaba School of Mosaic, which, together with the Museum and Archaeological Park are in a very advanced stage of completion, is the most important result of the research and scientific, cultural and social commitment of the Studium Biblicum Francescanum in the Madaba region, 60 years from the start of archaeological research at the Moses Memorial on Mount Nebo. This research has meant a renewed interest in byzantine Jordan and the mosaics of the master mosaicists of the school of Madaba.
The archaeological park

The Romans made it a typical provincial town, with colonnaded streets, fine temples and other buildings, large water cisterns and a town wall. The town continued to flourish through the 8th century and beyond. As the date of the mosaic floor in the church is 767 A.D. Traces of the Roman town can be seen in the long stretches of the paved street in Madaba’s Archaeological Park.