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 Mount Nebo - P.O.Box 2 Faysaliyah - 17196 Madaba - JORDAN - eMail: mtnebo@go.com.jo

 

EXCAVATION CAMPAIGN 1997


Umm al-Rasas - Nitl - Khirbet al-Mukhayyet - Restoration - Ma'in

The participants:
fr Eugenio Alliata, Garbo Younes, fr John Abela, fr Mariano Bernard Arndt, fr Artur Spalek, fr Stefano De Luca, fr Carmelo Pappalardo, Alessandra Acconci, Max Mandel, Chiara Sanmorì, Eva Gabrieli, Anne Michel, Basemah Hamarneh, Simona Manacorda, Anthony Farrugia, Marcello Ciampi, Gianluca Parodi, Benedetta Steri, Paola Pizzi, Martina Poller, Massimiliano Ferrari, Giorgio Lombardo, Davide Fodaro, Lisa Di Marco, Leonardo Dolfi, Vincent Michel, Mirta Varvesi, Jamilah Younes, Violet Bawab.


UMM AL-RASAS, CHURCH OF ST. PAUL:
NORTHERN AND SOUTHERN FLANKS

Director: - Michele Piccirillo
Equipe: - John Abela, Alessandra Acconci, Carmelo Pappalardo, Massimiliano Ferrari, Giorgio Lombardo.
Sections and prospects: - Chiara Sanmorì
Plan: - Benedetta Steri and Paola Pizzi
Photographers: - Max Mandel, Fr. Michele Piccirillo
Work force: - 10-15 local workmen.

This year's Archaeological campaign at Umm al-Rasas was centred on the northern and southern flanks of the Church of St. Paul which church had been excavated during the campaigns of 1995-1996. This to verify the presence of any annexed areas to the said Church (two service rooms - one to the East and the other to the south - had already been excavated during the 1996 campaign).

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To the north of the Church work was primarily carried out to clean the area from the accumulated debris and to possibly trace any structure therein. During this phase we noted that the northern façade of the northern wall of the Church is greatly damaged and we decided to not expose it completely. Some of the areas on the northern flank of the Church were only partially excavated while others where only excavated to the first walking level encountered. We only cleaned the area except for two sectors next to the east-west road which runs along southern limit of St. Stephen's complex. These two areas (courtyards?) resulted to be interconnected through a doorway whose threshold survived. The eastern courtyard was partially excavated (not to block the entrance to the ruins from the east) and so we did not reach the eastern perimeter wall of the area. Besides the door in the western wall this area had another door in the southern wall. On the beaten earth floor, in the south-west corner of the area, a marble fragment with inscription was recovered while towards the centre of the area a door lintel decorated with crosses was found. The second area (to the west) resulted in an elongated (1250 x 375) east-west open space (no sign of pillars were found) which had also a door on the south wall. The only pottery sherds coming from this area were recovered from a drop in the floor at the north-east corner. From here comes an almost complete small anphora. We have also noted that the area next to the cistern in the presumed Northern courtyard of the Church of St. Paul, was transformed into various small rooms at a later period. A stone (war?) ball was recovered next to the northern wall of St. Paul's Church. Work is to be continued.

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The excavations were extended to the south area adjacent to the Church of St. Paul. This area covers the space between the Peacocks' Church and that of St. Paul's. We proceeded in a sratigraphical analysis of the area to better understand the subsequent stages of the structures and the continued usage of the area. Besides the excavation of the visible structures we also practised some in depth trenches. The works carried out can be synthesised: a) removal of the heaps of rubble from the area (this also with the help of a mechanical instrument); b) excavation of the portico annexed to the south perimeter wall of the Church of St. Paul; c) locating and partially excavating the structures of a winery; d) evidencing a continuous use of the area witnessed by at least three distinct phases, going from the late VI to the VIII-IX century documented by a succession of beaten earth floorings and by the construction of some structures which gave the area a different functionality; e) analysis and graphic documentation of the found structures, through various prospects and sections (scale 1:20: Chiara Sanmorì) and of the general plan (scale 1:50: Paola Pizzi and Benedetta Steri).

The results obtained are to be considered as partial as the south-west sector has still to be excavated to understand better the functionality of the winery and its relation with the nearby buildings. Further clarification is to be carried out to understand better the structures laying at 115 cm below the portico's foundation and which emerged on the last day of excavation.

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The Portico: the structural remains which were unearthed belong to the stylobate which separated the courtyard from the two south entrances of the Church of St. Paul. The stylobate (9m ca. long, 63 cm thick and 115 cm in its foundation) did not contain any rising structure. It was formed by medium sized rectangular blocks of stone erected on a foundation made up of stones of different measurements and quality. This lied 286 cm from the threshold of the church. On this stylobate a portico, formed by three arches supported at the centre by two stone columns while on the eastern and western extremities it rested on two pillars. The whole collapsed structure emerged. Towards the eastern extremity, next to the collapsed arch and column, a stone ionic type capital-springer with a large quadrangular abacus was found. A similar example had already been noted among the ruins of Umm al-Rasas. The lower portion of the western column (cubic base and bulging torus ) is in situ and had been incorporated in the south-east corner of a room subsequently built in the western area of the portico (area 01). The eastern arch had a span of three metres - identified by the distance existing between the column base and the western pillar (which was also subsequently incorporated in the south wall of area 01. A very fine threading floor was in use in conjunction with the original portico. This had an upper layer (10 cm ca.) of lime and small stones laid on a well prepared fill of about 60 cm. This floor and its structure were identified through the two trenches dug, one in area 01 and the other in front of the western entrance of the south perimeter wall of the Church of St. Paul. The fill which rests almost directly on a cistern (tomb?) contained sherds from the roman period to the end of the VI century. Mosaic tesserae and waste of different sizes (small and very small) and colours were found in this layer.

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The well: most probably the well was in relation to an open courtyard laying in front of the portico which had also a beaten earth floor. The well was found at a distance of 315 cm from the external façade of the stylobate. The well lies at the centre of the two entrances to the church. It is 650 cm deep having a diameter of 90 cm ca. Its opening appeared raised by about 80 cm which probably was done when the area was used again at a later stage.

Area 01. This area on the western part of the portico, as delimited by the south and eastern walls, belongs to a later period of use of the portico. This area (300 x 260) was excavated in 1996. It was again restudied in order to see its structural relation to the church and its portico. The western and eastern walls are made up of irregular rows of reused stones - they enclose the western arch of the portico encompassing the column and the pillar. A new floor of beaten earth was laid atop the original flooring at 30 cm height. The sherds found in this filling between the two floors are from the Omayyad period.

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The winery : at about 225 cm from the portico excavations to the south, towards the Church of the Peacocks, is gradually revealing a whole winery complex. The already excavated parts include three wine pressers (the first to the north: 153 cm (N-S) x 200 cm ca.(E-W), 122 deep; the central one: 157 cm x 190 cm, 132 cm deep; the southern one: 150 cm x 205 cm, 132 deep). A thick layer of white plaster covered the walls of the pressers, large traces of which had been preserved. White mosaic floors (tesserae of 2-2.5 cm) were laid in a slight incline towards the east, towards a hole in the eastern wall from where the must flowed out. On the same eastern walls of the three pressers there are narrow openings which lead to a yet unexplored area of the winery. A continuous wall delimits the pressers to the west.

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Outside this wall a beaten earth floor leads from south towards the southern courtyard of St. Paul. A small (35 cm diameter) circular oven made up of refractory earth(tannur) was unearthed infixed in this flooring - thus revealing a later use of this space. This floor lies about 40 cm below another beaten earth flooring which exists next to the Peacocks' Church. It is interesting to note that no walls or other structures were encountered between the two level of floorings. Further investigation revealed also that the lower flooring, made up of chipped stone, lime and soil, whitish in colour, lies on yet another beaten earth flooring, some 15 cm below. This passage was delimited to the west by a wall which runs from the Peacocks' Church towards the courtyard of St. Paul, some 180 cm wide.

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To the north the winery had a door (65 cm ca. wide) which led directly to the courtyard outside the Church's portico - the door is actually blocked by rubble. A small channel runs under this doorway and pours into a small stone basin (73 cm x 50 cm and 26 cm deep). The basin has two holes on the bottom from which the liquid poured into two rectangular cisterns-reservoirs whose walls are covered with waterproofing plaster. These reservoirs are more than 200 cm deep and had their openings at floor level. A very thick layer of soil covered completely the reservoirs, the basin and the channel. The sherds coming from inside the channel dates to the late Omayyad period. The presence of three fireplaces were noted in the upper part of the stratum next to the reservoirs.

Even in the filling of the wine pressers the pottery comes from the late VIII-IX century: in this regards it is very significant the discovery of two different lamp fragments which have vine scrolls filled in with grapes, pomegranates, cantharus and a bird. Both these belong to the second type (Arndt, 1987). Noteworthy also are the fragments of one or more cups. These are of the type with geometric painting in reddish-brown colour on a white background, already found at Umm al-Rasas (Alliata, 1994) and of which various pieces were found even inside the church of St. Paul.

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The various phases:
The excavations so far carried out has revealed that the actual portico was built atop a structure (tomb or cistern?) lying 115 cm below the level of the original beaten floor of the same portico. This structure seems to have atop of it a stone pavement of balat over which there is a layer of about 15 cm made up of silt soil and ashes. The research revealed also at least two other later phases of usage of the area of the portico and the courtyard annexed to the Church. These are documented first of all by the cons- truction of a north/east-south/west wall. The accentuated difference in levels were covered by three steps which were laid on the original beaten earth threading level. Future research might clarify better this phase and the subsequent use of the main part of the courtyard outside the church's portico for the use of the winery.

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There follows, on a higher level, the last beaten earth threading level which lies directly under the fallen structures and on which rest also a re-used basin towards the centre of the courtyard almost in front of the southern entrance to the church (it is interesting to note that the southern nave of the Church of St. Paul had been transformed into a dwelling place at a later date after it was abandoned and this entrance lead directly into this "new" dwelling. A very irregular s shaped low wall rests on this higher beaten earth flooring partially closing the area to the south-east.

A further phase results in the collapse of the portico structure which must date back to the period when the place was completely abandoned as is witnessed by the thick layer of soil on which the collapsed arches rest. The presence of fireplaces is further documented in various points of the area lying between the second phase flooring and the last flooring of the area.


NITL
Director: - Michele Piccirillo
Equipe: - Basema Hamarneh, Stefano De Luca, Simona Manacorda, Vincent Michel.

The second excavation campaign of the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum at the village of Nitl has focused on a major comprehension of the ecclesiastical complex excavated in august 1996 (see B. Hamarneh, S. Manacorda, Nitl. Excavation campaign 1996, in Ricerca Storico - Archeologica in Giordania XVI - 1996, LA, 46, 1996, pp.406-409, figg. 13 -14). It involved, in fact, both the central church (south), the north church, the chapel, the narthex (vestibule) and the room situated behind the apse of the chapel.

South Church
: In the central church (south) the nave excavating was completed putting to light the remainder portion of the north and south walls flanked by pilasters (nine for each side), the level of the collapsed arches and roofing revealing a similar configurations of those discovered in the 1996 campaign; these latter are laying against SU 49 (not excavated). In the north wall (USM 15) shared by the two churches a door was discovered, and the same wall mentioned above showed many imprecations due possibly to the contemporary building of both edifices.

The stratigraphical analysis of the upper stratum SU 14 and SU 23 showed the presence of numerous sherds relating to the Mamluk - Ottoman period, confirming the reuse of some portions of the central church in that and in the late ottoman period (like the evidence of the room SU 25 and its stone slabs floor SU 21, both built on the collapse of the arches and the roofing SU 19).

North Church: The partial excavation of the nave of the north church was completed; it was delimited to the south west by the probe carried out in 1996, during which the five pilasters set against the north wall of the central church (USM 15) were identified, a part of the façade (USM 18), a door and a portion of the related mosaic floor. To avoid compromising the stratigraphical situation, a witness of about 2 m was left untouched in a first instance; fixing the limit by the fifth pilaster (counting from the apse). The excavation brought to light, slightly under the treading level, the external north wall (USM 77), with the relative pilasters corresponding to those on the opposite wall. A second external double faced wall, laid with large ashlars, is set against the north wall.

The removal of the first stratum (US 0) identified the collapse of both arches and roofing (SU 75) laying on SU 49. This stratum is superimposed on yet another fall (SU 76), probably precedent to the first (SU 75), similar in composition. The differing stratigraphical situation of the two structural collapses determines a slope with a south-east/north-west incline.

The double façade wall (USM 18), was brought to light partially preserved, up to the same height of the walls in the central church, to which it is contemporary. Two doors, having different dimensions and off-centre towards the south west in respect of the central axis of the building, open upon the narthex. The larger north door had been plugged. In a second instance a wall (USM82=USM40), of which survive only two to three courses, was set against the façade wall. This single face wall, is made up of quite irregular ashlars, with a fill of soil and stone between itself and USM 18. A second single wall (USM 83), is similar to USM 82 and set against it, with an intermediary fill of soil and stones. Both walls lay upon SU 42 which covers the mosaic flooring of the narthex.

A probe to a depth of about 2.5 meters, was carried out in the area delimited between the walls north east, north west and the wall USM 77, pertaining to the north church, has enabled us to identify the foundation structure of the tower. This lies upon the chancel rail of the presbytery of the north church. A door with lintel, which has been plugged in modern times, seems to connect the north church with locus 6 (a room flanking the so called tower to the north - east). A portion of slab paving (about m 1,5), at the level of the tower foundations, was discovered in front of the door; along with a plastered niche found between the first two pilasters of the wall USM 77.

A further limited probe brought to light, at a depth of cm. 50 on the lateral side of the chancel rail, a small portion of the mosaic flooring of the eastern top of the northern aisle in proximity of the presbytery, having a geometric motif with rhombi.

Locus 7: This is a quadrangular room obtained, between the narthex and the north corner of the north church, by a double wall 2.85 m long set against the façade. The wall is made of squared, fairly regular ashlars. A similar wall (USM 81) separates it from the narthex, which was accessed by a door, the sill and jambs of which were found in situ. At the present the extension, towards the south west, of the area is not known. The stratigraphical analysis reveals that at surface level, a thin stratum of SU 0 was superimposed on SU 49, this latter characterized by numerous window nets, fragments of glass and sherds covering a layer of squared-up homogeneous ashlars (structural fall = USM 76 ?). The functions of this room (Locus 7) and its relation with the church are still to be determined.

Narthex: The portion of the excavated narthex, corresponding to the façade of the north church, has revealed a similar stratigraphical sequence to that already seen during the 1996 excavation: composed of SU 0, which covers SU 49, slightly inclined in a north-east/south-west direction. This stratum, in turn covers SU 42, upon which was found a moulded column base (RA 66). Between the base and the external wall (USM 81) of locus 7, there was discovered a dark brown soil stratum (SU 80) in relation with a tabun. The sill to the door of the room (locus 7) is set upon the narthex mosaic flooring, identified through an exploratory probe.

The Chapel: The plastered raised platform set on the west side of the Chapel, left untouched in the 1996 campaign, was violated by the locals showing the presence of small artificial square cavity (0.75 x 0.75) plastered inside conic shaped built directly on the bed rock, and opened at the center of the plastered step. The cavity was covered by a base of a capital with a lateral hollow which permitted to facilitate its opening.

The raised plaster step which contained the cavity (SU 66) was covered by a vault and was externally closed by a wall the shape of which was not yet determined. In the vicinity of the step, the mosaic discovered last year showed a motive with two rampant lions on either sides of a medallion facing towards the cavity and not towards the opposed apse of the chapel; on the other hand two hollow embeds probably for small pilasters or a chancel screen were cut on both sides of the wall flanking the step. These remarks testimony of a certain importance of this structure within the chapel itself.

The excavation was also extended to the area located behind the apse of the Chapel, it showed the presence of a quadrilateral room with four pairs of pilasters surmounted by reused imposts (though similar typologically) plastered to show homogeneity. Three of the walls are visible, the north wall is shared with the central church, communicating by a door, the west wall had in origin a door which has been transformed into a niche when the apse of the chapel has been built, the south wall is visible only on the internal side and partially, while the east wall has not been found yet for the presence of a modern ottoman wall over it (pertaining to house number 16 of the survey). Both pilasters, arches along with the roof slabs were found laying on SU 49, presenting an architectonical plane similar to the churches. The stratigraphical sequence seems to be the same already registered in the churches with the upper layers SU14 and SU 23 with many Mamluk - ottoman and other sherds found along with a tabun (in situ).


KHIRBAT AL-MUKHAYYAT

The main scope of the third campaign in the church of Saint George in Khirbat al-Mukhayyat was to ascertain the chronological sequence in some rooms of the complex. We proceeded to carry out various probes mostly in areas A and C.

Probes in area A: In area A (the church) a probe was opened in the central nave against the west wall of the church. Having removed the bed of the mosaic there was brought to light a very thin brown layer that contained very few sherds to be dated to the beginning of the VIth century. The layer beneath it was composed of soft clay mixed with ash and ceramic sherds, most of which are datable to the Hellenistic period and some to the Iron Age. The layer was very thick (about 1.90 m). In the south-west corner of a pit had been hewn containing almost exclusively Iron Age sherds.

These layers were related to walls upon which the west wall of the church. The first wall had been built upon a former one which may be presumably attributed to the Hellenistic or early Roman period with another wall going back to the Iron Age period. In the eastern part of the south aisle the structure near to the door of the sacristy was also cleaned. It was composed of a column drum and two other blocks between it and the wall of the sacristy. It was determined that the drum lays on the mosaic of the church and is therefore a later addition.

Excavation in area C: In area C west of the Church three probes were opened. The first one was carried out in the northern half of the west basin of the cistern. Superficial cleaning brought to light a layer, about 30 cm thick, made of gray dusty clay mixed with stone that contained some byzantine sherds. The following layer consisted of yellow-brown clay and huge architectonic blocks. Very few sherds were found. The probe was stopped here and a second one was opened in the eastern basin of the cistern (for security reasons, so as not to weaken the east wall of the cistern, it was limited to the west half of the basin without reaching the bottom). The same stratigraphical sequence appeared. The probe was stopped here for technical reasons.

A small trench was dug at the eastern end of the wall to try to understand the reason of the change in direction of the wall and its relation to the west wall of room B the west wall of the church. Clearing the area we were able to identify a small east-west plastered water channel running along the south wall of the church ending at its south-west corner. This channel seems to be contemporaneous to the west wall of room B.

Works were also carried out in other areas of the complex with the intention of clarifying the chronology of the structures.


RESTORATION
Carried out by: Davide Fodaro and Gianluca Parodi

According to the Director of the Archaeological Expedition we have operated on the ceramic finds selected for the exposition in the building museum. All the objects were already subject to conservative restoration. Also the finds have been cleaned partially; fragments were glued together and the lacunae integrated with white chalk. The following operations have been done:

First cleaning: The first operation executed was the removal of the hydrosolubil deposit from the surface. It has been used a water solution added with a non ionic tensioattive (neo Desogen). That solution has been applied on the surface with a soft bristle brush. After, the fragments have been washed in distilled water to remove the tensioattive's residue.

Fragment's dismantle: The objects glued with a vinilic glue have been immersed in hot water for some hours. After that bath, that cause the softening of the glue, it was possible to start the fragments dismantling.

Cleaning: All the old chalk's integrations were removed and its residue on the ceramic surface. To obtain a complete remove of the old glue from the fragments, those have been immersed in a solvent bath (acetone).

Gluing: Before go on to the fragments gluing it has been applied along the fracture's lines an operation stratum (strato d'intervento), a solution of Paraloid B72 at 20% in acetone.

Lacunas integration: The lacunas have been integrated with dentistical chalk and the surface has been painted with acrylic colours.

Further: On request of the Director of the Archaeological Expedition some theorical-practical lessons have been prepared to Madaba Mosaic School's students concerning the archaeological ceramic conservation.

The arguments discussed were the following:

  1. Introduction to the ancient techniques of ceramic production
  2. Interaction of the ceramic finds with the ground
  3. Ceramic's degrade
  4. Ceramic's cleaning: mechanical and chemical systems
  5. Consolidation of the ceramic finds: consolidation materials dissolved in solvent and inorganic consolidation
  6. Gluing of the fragments
  7. Integration of the lacunas
  8. Chromatically treatment of the integration's

During the lessons the students have carried out some cleaning on ceramic finds from Mount Nebo's excavations.

Finds of Iron, bronze and ceramic excavated during the expedition have been restored.


MA‘IN

Fra le pendici occidentali del tell di Ma‘in e l’altura su cui sorge il complesso monastico di Ed-Deir, all’interno di un cortile privato è stata segnalata la presenza di alcuni lacerti di mosaico pavimentale, tornati casualmente alla luce nel luglio 1997 nel corso di lavori edili effettuati dal proprietario dell’area. La pronta segnalazione del ritrovamento da parte del direttore del Museo Archeologico di Madaba, ha favorito il recupero di tre frammenti musivi, risultati pertinenti ad un ambiente cultuale d’epoca bizantina. Lo strappo delle superfici mosaicate è stato giudicato indispensabile per la preservazione dei resti e la loro conservazione in luogo idoneo. L’intervento è stato effettuato da P.M.Piccirillo, previa documentazione grafica e fotografica dei frammenti in situ..

I brani musivi sono relativi a due distintre fasi cronologiche, indicate dalla sovrapposizione del letto del pavimento più recente ad un primo mosaico, superstite in due zone, separate da un segmento murario munito di soglia (lunghezza m 3.20 x 25-40 ca.) disposto in direzione N-S e collegato al secondo pavimento, anch’esso restante in due soli lacerti. Entrambi i tappeti mostrano una disposizione dei motivi in direzione E-O.

Al primo pavimento appartengono due pannelli istoriati, collocati su un fondo di tessere bianche (spessore cm 1-1,2; la.cm 0,8-1,2).

Il primo lacerto (m 5.50 x2.70) contiene un ampio clipeo racchiudente la croce fiancheggiata, in alto, da due schematici elementi floreali e in basso dalle lettere apocalittiche a (della quale è superstite il solo apice) e w. Il profilo del clipeo (cm 112) é scandito da una triplice sequenza di tessere rosse, alternate alle bianche; la croce (bracci: cm 95 x 10) è posta in risalto da un bordo esterno a tessere nere e vivacizzata all’interno da regolari allineamenti di tessere bianco-rosso-gialle.

Il secondo lacerto, a ovest del muro aggiunto, è caratterizzato dalla presenza di un pannello quadrato a fondo giallo e schema geometrico risultante dall’incrocio di diagonali formate da raggruppamenti di quattro tessere rosse, in sequenza di cinque per ciascuno dei lati delle diagonali. I campi geometrici sono campiti al centro da quattro tessere rosse disposte a croce; all’esterno del quadrato di base, presso gli spigoli, si impostano quattro altri piccoli quadrati (cm 10) segnati da diagonali incrociate.

Il piano di posa del mosaico ha rivelato una fattura piuttosto semplificata e grossolana: il letto é infatti composto da uno strato di calce grigiastra e friabile (di spessore variabile dai cm 4-4,5), seguito da un livello di pietrame di varia pezzatura utilizzato in luogo dei ciottoli, e dalla terra rossa.

Il secondo pavimento si è impostato in parte sul primo mosaico (settore orientale), ad esso sovrapposto ad una altezza di cm 12-15 ca., e in parte direttamente sul banco di roccia affiorante (settore nord-occidentale), appositamente livellato e utilizzato quale piano di appoggio del letto del mosaico, unicamente costituito da calce.

Su un fondo a tessere bianche (cm 0,7, spessore cm 0,8-9; cm 1, spessore 0,5) scorre il motivo a griglia geometrizzante che caratterizza entrambi i lacerti superstiti (m 1.85 x 2.30 ca.; 1 x 40 ca.), rispettivamente posti a ovest e ad est del segmento murario con la soglia. La griglia di base a diagonali incrociate é formata dai consueti allineamenti di rosette stilizzate disposte a quinconce. I rombi sono campiti alternativamente da grappoli d’uva, foglie cuoriformi e fioroni a otto petali disposti lungo il profilo circolare; la gamma cromatica è basata sull’alternanza di tessere rosse, gialle, rosa e nero. Resta un tratto della cornice marginale del tappeto, presso il lato nord, in forma di semplice bordo a linee parallele.

Un sondaggio presso il muro sovrapposto al primo pavimento ha restituito alcuni frammenti ceramici, per lo più relativi ad una o più anfore, di una tipologia comune nell’inoltrato VI secolo, nonché un piccolo frammento di marmo bianco (spessore cm 3,5 ca.).

Entrambi i tappeti risultano danneggiati dalla posa in opera di strutture recenti: un palo dell’energia elettrica si é impostato presso il settore orientale dell’area mosaicata; il muro di cinta della casa ha tagliato i mosaici presso i lati nord ed est. La possibilità di identificare le strutture murarie pertinenti al complesso cultuale appare compromessa dall’addensamento degli edifici sorti a immediato contatto con le rovine. La rimozione di antiche pietre da costruzione è testimoniata dagli ingenti accumuli depositati nei dintorni delle nuove case. All’interno di un cortile, nell’area dalla quale sono riemersi i mosaici, è stata notata la presenza di un capitello in pietra calcarea di tipo corinzio a quattro stilizzate foglie d’acanto direttamente confrontabile a svariati altri esemplari provenienti dalle chiese della regione, generalmente riferibili al VI-VII secolo. L’elemento é attualmente depositato nel Museo Archeologico di Madaba.

© Michele Piccirillo
Studium Biblicum Franciscanum,
Mount Nebo - Jordan

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