Maps of Stone in Madaba Jordan

Before there were Google Maps and Garmin there were maps made of stone.  I’m sure I will have more to say about Jordan as the weeks go on, I have lots of pictures to share and lots of thoughts, and it looks like I will be going back to work in February.  But, today, sitting in an airport lounge in Frankfort I am thinking about maps, they are all over in airline magazines.  One of the most interesting maps I have ever seen is the sixth century map on the floor of St. George’s church in Madaba, Jordan.  Originally it was a mosaic that took us from the Nile delta to the Sea of Galilee.  It covers all of Israel, the eastern half of Jordan, and a bit of Syria.  It was lost until 1896 when locals uncovered it, or at least a million or so stones of it.  It is now protected by the Basilica of St. George, commonly known as the map church.  Below are pictures of the map, a key for the map and other pictures of the church.  The map noted sites that have been lost, and using it the Jesus Baptism site “Bethany Beyond Jordan was discovered by archeologists.

Other than maps, Madaba is a thriving town with Moslem and Christian populations living together.

One of the most interesting features of Madaba, aside from the Map Church is a charity wall where people leave old but serviceable clothes for others to take as they need them.

Madaba also has a Mosaic school, which is open to the Public, supported by the Jordan River Foundation, one of the Royal NGOs, this one sponsored by Queen Rania.

Time to fly to Seattle.

 

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