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The now-isolated rectangular room (5.37 m x 3.58 m) is decorated with a square composition consisting of four trees laden with fruit and placed in each of the four corners. At the center, the top-most branches of the trees meet a medallion on which there is an image of a man’s head with his hair arranged like a helmet. In the space between the tree-trunks, along the sides of the panel, there are figures of paired animals facing each other: two rams, two hares, and two birds which are either ducks or geese. On the northern side, a lion and a zebu face each other from opposite sides of a bush. Between the frame of the composition and the threshold of the door, two more birds face each other from opposite sides of a goblet-shaped vessel filled with fruit.
The composition, which has been interpreted as a scene of filia (friendship) among animals, may have been used here as a symbolic representation of the Biblical Eden or Paradise.
(From: Michele Piccirillo)
© Photo: Courtesy of the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land, Mt. Nebo,
and the American Center of Oriental Research, Amman.
Several old houses and courtyards display mosaic floors found in situ or in other places, as well as archaeological and ethnographic exhibits.
By Michele Piccirillo
A large format, cloth-bound volume with 383 pages, 874 illustrations, including aerial views of many of the sites and plans of most of the structures which have mosaics.
American Center of Oriental Research, Amman, Jordan. First edition in 1993.
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