Umm ar-Rasas

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Um er-Rasas (Kastrom Mefa'a)
Native name 'أم الرّصاص'
Umm Rasas House ruins.JPG
Ruins of a Roman house
Location Amman Governorate, Jordan
Coordinates 31°30′2″N 35°55′15″E / 31.50056°N 35.92083°E / 31.50056; 35.92083Coordinates: 31°30′2″N 35°55′15″E / 31.50056°N 35.92083°E / 31.50056; 35.92083
Elevation 760
Built 5th Century
Governing body Ministry of Tourism & Antiquities of Jordan
Type Cultural
Criteria i, iv, vi
Designated 2004 (28th session)
Reference no. 1093
State Party Jordan
Region Arab States
Umm ar-Rasas is located in Jordan
Umm ar-Rasas
Location of Um er-Rasas (Kastrom Mefa'a) in Jordan
Umm ar-Rasas Visitors Center
20100924 umm er rasas56.jpg

Umm ar-Rasas (Arabic: أم الرّصاص‎) (Kastrom Mefa'a, Kastron Mefa'a) is an archeological site in Jordan which contains ruins from the Roman, Byzantine, and early Muslim civilizations. The majority of the site has not been excavated. Among the portions excavated so far include a military camp and several churches. For its unique blend of civilizations, Um er-Rasas was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004.

The most important discovery on the site was the mosaic floor of the Church of St Stephen. It was made in 785 (discovered after 1986). The perfectly preserved mosaic floor is the largest one in Jordan. On the central panel, hunting and fishing scenes are depicted, while another panel illustrates the most important cities of the region including Philadelphia (Amman), Madaba, Esbounta (Heshbon), Belemounta (Ma'an), Areopolis (Ar-Rabba), Charac Moaba (Karak), Jerusalem, Nablus, Caesarea, and Gaza. The frame of the mosaic is especially decorative. Six mosaic masters signed the work: Staurachios from Esbus, Euremios, Elias, Constantinus, Germanus, and Abdela. It overlays another, damaged, mosaic floor of the earlier (587) Church of Bishop Sergius. Another four churches were excavated nearby with traces of mosaic decoration.


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