In 1884, an Orthodox Christian community that had recently moved to Madaba, a city in western Jordan, began the construction of a new Church of St. George. Under Ottoman law, a Christian church could only be built on the ruins of an older church, and this was done in this case. As workers cleared the ground over what had been the ancient church, there emerged the remains of a mosaic of a very peculiar kind. At that time it was common to find buried mosaic remains linked to the glorious Byzantine and Umayyad past of Madaba. But no previous find could compare with the one that was made in the church of St. George. The colorful mosaic that appeared at their feet depicted sites across the Holy Land, including different geographical features and hundreds of inscriptions in Greek.
Listen beautiful relax classics on our Youtube channel.
Fragment of the Madaba Mosaic Map, the oldest floor mosaic map of the Holy Land and Jerusalem in the Saint George s Church. Photo: Siempreverde22 | Dreamstime.com