Gerasa was one of the cities of the Roman Decapolis. Ammon News reports:
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…