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Palestinians get glimpse of world’s largest mosaic in Jericho built by the Umayyads

Discussion in 'Middle East & Africa' started by Saif al-Arab, Nov 11, 2016.

  1. Saif al-Arab

    Saif al-Arab BANNED

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    Palestinians get glimpse of world’s largest mosaic in Jericho

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    A Palestinian man removes weeds from the Hisham Palace archaeological site north of Jericho, West Bank, Oct. 20, 2016. (photo by ABBAS MOMANI/AFP/Getty Images)
    RAMALLAH, West Bank — In Jericho, one of the oldest cities in the world, the Palestinian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities has unveiled the largest floor mosaic in the Middle East for public display. The Oct. 20 ceremonial opening in Hisham Palace was attended by numerous official figures and public personalities, including Tourism Minister Rula Maaya, Secretary of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Executive Committee Saeb Erekat, Japanese Ambassador to the Palestinian Authority Takechi Okubo and chief representative from the Japan International Cooperation Agency Yuko Mitsui.

    The mosaic, dating back to the Umayyad era,
    covers the floor of the reception hall between the office of the caliph, which was used to host high-level visitors, and the large bathroom in the Umayyad Hisham Palace, built in 724.

    The mosaic is made up of 38 connected panels, each with a unique design that includes decorations and geometric forms. Altogether, these panels form a large mosaic floor spanning a total area of 827 square meters. The most famous image, the “Tree of Life,” shows a lion preying on a deer on one side of the tree, with two other deer foraging peacefully on the other. The room containing this section was blocked off, with the mosaic viewable through doors and windows that are blocked with iron bars.

    The director of the Palestinian Tourism and Antiquities Ministry, Iyad Hamdan, told Al-Monitor, “This archaeological piece is an expression of life in times of war and peace.”

    Hamdan said that the mosaic floor, which had been buried under sand to protect it from erosion, was unveiled in the presence of officials as part of a project to protect the mosaic before displaying it to the public. This project was funded by Japan through the Japan International Cooperation Agency at a cost of about $12 million and is due to start in three months. This process of constructing protective and exhibition facilities is expected to take up to a year and a half before the mosaic is displayed to the public in early 2018.

    Hamdan explained that a protective barrier made of insulating and environmentally friendly materials capable of withstanding temperature fluctuations will be constructed without changing the site, to prevent visitors from stepping on the mosaic floor and to provide a view from above.

    On the sidelines of the unveiling ceremony, Maaya, the tourism minister, said that this mosaic floor is the largest in the Middle East and perhaps in the world. “This mosaic portrays the history of the Palestinian people and has great historical value,” she said.

    Mitsui said, “A Japanese engineering team, in collaboration with the Palestinian Ministry of Tourism, the technical team and the consulting committee, are discussing the best design for the mosaic floor’s protective cover, which must be suitable to the nature and environment of the [palace] and must preserve its historical value.”

    Saleh Tawafsha, the general director of the Ministry of Tourism's Department of Antiquities Protection, told Al-Monitor, “The Japanese team, in cooperation with the Palestinian team, will execute the project to construct protective and exhibition facilities consisting of high bridges between columns that the visitors will cross to view the mosaic floor without stepping on it.” He added that a specialized Palestinian team will conduct the necessary restoration works.

    He noted, “The mosaic floor will not be displayed for public viewing until the completion of the project, because some of it needs restoration and maintenance and uncovering those parts to visitors will expose them to significant harm.”

    The massive mosaic was discovered in 1935 by Palestinian archaeologist Dimitri Baramki, who headed a British excavation team in his capacity as director of the Palestinian Department of Antiquities under the British mandate. The team explored Hisham Palace, which covers an area of about 40 dunums and was destroyed by an earthquake in the year 749, according to Jihad Yassin, the general director of museums and excavations in the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.

    Yassin told Al-Monitor, “The excavation works led to the uncovering of large parts of Hisham Palace and the mosaic floor, but in 1948, excavation works were halted due to the Israeli occupation. In the period between 1960 and 1967, the Jordanian Department of Antiquities resumed these excavation works and was planning at the time to cover and protect the mosaic floor. But the outbreak of the 1967 war and the occupation of the West Bank prevented it from completing its project.”

    Yassin recalled that in 2006, the Ministry of Tourism carried out some excavation works to examine the civilizational history of the palace. Between 2010 and 2015, the ministry and the University of Chicago conducted a joint excavation project that led to the discovery of the palace’s northern gate and allowed them to learn more about the nature of the northern area.

    Tawafsha said that the PA's Ministry of Tourism had on several occasions carried out restoration work on the mosaic, covered and buried it in sand for protection. However, the PA has been unable to build protective facilities to display the mosaic to the public, as such a project would be very costly. The PA proposed a project that failed to gain approval because the designs suggested were not compatible with the mosaic floor's cultural landscape.

    Yassin explained, “Mosaics in Palestine date back to the Roman period. This art has evolved over the centuries, especially in the Byzantine era and the Islamic era. Aesthetics have changed and work on mosaics has become more professional. It is widely used in public buildings, churches and monasteries. The mosaic flooring in Hisham Palace is a unique piece of art and the largest mosaic floor in the Middle East, with harmonious colors and meticulous assemblage.”

    The Ministry of Tourism hopes the unveiling of the mosaic floor will increase tourism to the city of Jericho. Hamdan said, “Most visitors who come to Jericho asking about the mosaic floor do not believe that this treasure, featured in tourism publications, is buried under sand, which forces some tour guides to uncover some part of this mosaic for them to believe.”

    He added, “After the completion of the protection project, we expect the number of visitors to Jericho and specifically to Hisham Palace to double compared with about 1.248 million visitors last year.”

    The protection, maintenance and eventual unveiling of the mosaic floor will add to the aesthetic value of the Umayyad Hisham Palace and solidify its status as the most important archaeological site in the city of Jericho.

    Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/ori...saic-jericho-japan-project.html#ixzz4PfADiGc2
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2016
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  2. Saif al-Arab

    Saif al-Arab BANNED

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    Some photos:


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    People visit the Hisham's Palace archaeological site, located five kilometres north of the West Bank city of Jericho, on October 20, 2016. Abbas Momani / AFP​

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    Simply terrific. Would love to visit this marvel.
     
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  3. Hack-Hook

    Hack-Hook ELITE MEMBER

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    Really beautiful , the mosaic looks like a beautiful delicate carpet. when you look at these marvels from old time you ask yourself what went wrong in last 300 years that the architects forget how to produce such beautiful and eye catching designs.
    when you look at inside of old mosque, churches and palaces you see marvels that rarely can be seen in modern buildings.

    I Wonder if there is a picture that show all the mosaic in one shot from directly above.
     
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  4. Saif al-Arab

    Saif al-Arab BANNED

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    It is a tragedy what has become of our modern-day artists, sculptors, architects etc. Everything is about ugly futuristic designs, glass, concrete and more of it. Attention to artistic detail is almost gone.

    Many valuable handcrafts and arts that were intended to create beauty have also died out or are about to die out in the next generation.

    it is a tragedy.
     
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  5. Solomon2

    Solomon2 BANNED

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    I have to smile at this. Last month I attended a lecture by an American archaeologist (a Christian) who discovered Roman-era mosaics in Israel. The mosaic floor turned out to be that of a Jewish synagogue from the 4th-6th century and had Jewish bible themes. She said it had been mysteriously abandoned in the 6th or early 7th century. Her team had discovered it almost immediately simply by picking out the largest building in a decrepit Arab village - the one said to have been there "forever" - and digging directly beneath it.
     
  6. Saif al-Arab

    Saif al-Arab BANNED

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    AND what exactly has this dubious story (probably a lie unless proven otherwise) to do with this topic again or this mosaic (biggest in the world) which was created by the Umayyads in year 724?

    Let me answer that question for you. Absolutely nothing.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2016
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  7. Hack-Hook

    Hack-Hook ELITE MEMBER

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    For, Gods sake can't you just for once forget Hajer and Sara fight over Abraham Legacy for several minutes and appreciate this masterpiece .
     
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  8. Saif al-Arab

    Saif al-Arab BANNED

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    You will never find him say anything positive about the Arab world or Iran. Only negativity and derailing threads. If this had been made by a Jewish ruler, say King Herod the Great (who actually was half Nabatean - Arabic speaking peoples native to Hijaz and Southern Levant - they built numerous World UNESCO Heritage Sites in modern-day KSA, Jordan, Syria and Israel) I would admire it as much as if this had been created by say a person from Congo, Finland, Peru or Papua New Guinea.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nabataeans

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herod_the_Great

    This person, who lives in the US, is always trying to take the moral high ground but his behavior is contradictory to it. I believe that he has a lot of hatred in him based on his history here.

    He is always attacking Palestinians and Arabs as a whole heavily. Even when innocent 3 year old children are killed he labels them as terrorists.

    Insane behavior from a person in his 50's that apparently works in Washington DC and is part of the political system in the US (as he once claimed and told me).

    Do not mind his comments whenever he talks about Arabs or Iranians. It is a waste of time.
     
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  9. Solomon2

    Solomon2 BANNED

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    The Palestinian Arab claim to being the "original" habitants of the region is one of the foundations for justifying Jew-murder, so no, it isn't appropriate to forget at all.

    The American archaeologist was looking for Byzantine-era churches and found synagogues instead. Although she and her team did not comment on this, it's logical to assume the people who lived there and used them did not convert to Christianity or Islam or else they would have re-purposed the synagogues rather than destroy them and build crude housing on top; rather, the Jews were displaced and replaced by other people or peoples.

    I imagine it's tough for an avowed Zionist Jew to visit such places and live to tell the tale, right?

    However, from all I've heard Arab hospitality is legendary and the cuisine is great. As for Iran, I used to have an Iranian neighbor I was quite fond of, until one of the mullahs' agents assassinated him. The murderer then fled to Iran where he stars in the mullahs' movies and I think helps manage the mullahs' English-language propaganda service.

    Good. The stuff isn't all published yet but she thinks it will be out in January.

    It's logical to assume that these 6th- or 7th-century (could be late 5th) Jews were displaced - that is, enslaved - by their conquerors and their skills employed elsewhere. So we can speculate that some of these ummayyad mosaics may have been laid by Jewish artisans. The animal ones are definitely similar to the photographs of mosaics in northern Israel shown to me by the American archaeologist. (On second thought, they are not. I am not an expert.) (However, the archaeologist did not offer any such assumptions or speculations.)
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2016
  10. Solomon2

    Solomon2 BANNED

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    When did I write that? Not in my memory. Go find it.
    I'm a voter. I have been a member of politically-oriented associations. I have visited the offices of my elected representatives, mostly on my own account but at least once as part of a delegation. These are normal things citizens do. Our elected representatives are accessible.
     
  11. gayMo

    gayMo BANNED

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    It's says that the Islamic invasion took over the glory of its conquered nations and passed off as its own. the same happened to Indian monuments like temples. Islamic invadeRd basically had only the dome and only much much later did they develop heir own style of paintings and I mean about a 1000 years later. even this culture probably is Persian origin.
     
  12. Solomon2

    Solomon2 BANNED

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    Umm, can't quite say that. I think just before Islamic conquest the Persians and Byzantines were battling over the same area. It seems the newcomers were Arabs, though.
     
  13. gayMo

    gayMo BANNED

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    Indeed, I can say about India though
     
  14. GiannKall

    GiannKall FULL MEMBER

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    Its funny how the zionist establisment twists the truth in order to fit their beliefs. Tell me ONE Israeli leader that has his roots from Middle East. Good luck with that you will need it. Perhaps there are one or two that do not descent from Europe or USA but i dont know i single one. Fact is that jews immigrated in Palestine in the same way white Europeans immigrated to South Africa.
     
  15. Saif al-Arab

    Saif al-Arab BANNED

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    Why is there ALWAYS an ignorant and dumb Indian writing nonsense in MENA/Arab related threads that have absolutely nothing to do with them? Topics that they know absolutely nothing about either? It's quite annoying.

    Anyway some more photos:

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    The entire complex from above.

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    You are absolutely right, cousin.
     
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