As part of the Government's efforts to attract more tourists to Jordan, a party of foreign diplomats stationed in Amman were taken last weekend on a tour of the ancient city of Madaba.
GV & SV Diplomats leaving Madaba Rest House for tour (3 shots)
GV Diplomates gather outside church (3 shots)
SV Stone foundations (2 shots)
CU Mosaice (2 shots)
GV Diplomats look at mosaics on floor (2 shots)
SV & CU looking at mosaic amid ancient ruins (4 shots)
SV & CU Diplomate inspect mosaics at Apostolic Church (7 shots)
GV Diplomats leave Apostolic Church
Initials ES. 1640 ES. 1700
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Background: As part of the Government's efforts to attract more tourists to Jordan, a party of foreign diplomats stationed in Amman were taken last weekend on a tour of the ancient city of Madaba.
Built over the remains of several earlier towns, Madaba is best known for the mosaic art which flourished there during the Byzantine period.
The floor of a Greek Orthodox Church in Madaba still bears the fragments of a mosaic map of the Holy Land, laid early in the 6th century.
In the last ten years, more mosaics have been found - some dating from before Christian times -- and the Jordanian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities has opened a mosaic gallery in Madaba.
The town lies only 21 miles (34 km) south of Amman and the Ministry hopes that wider knowledge of the town and its mosaic art will help to persuade more tourists to visit Jordan.
SYNOPSIS: Diplomats living in Amman left their Embassies last weekend, and motored south to the ancient city of Madaba.
There, as guests of the Jordanian Ministry to Tourism and Antiquities, they were taken on a tour of Churches and houses still adorned with examples of mosaic art from the Byzantine period.
Madaba lies about twenty miles south of Amman, and is built on the remains of two much earlier towns. It was a flourishing centre of mosaic art during the fifth and a sixth centuries.
The floor of a Greek Orthodox Church in Madaba still bears remnants of a large mosaic map of the Holy Land, laid early in the sixth century. The mosaic was discovered in the 1890's and is one of the few maps surviving from the later stages of the Roman Empire.
The diplomats also visited an Apostolic Church to admire a recently restored floor mosaic. Archaeologists in Jordan have concentrated on Modaba in recent years, and several new mosaics have been found in Churches and houses in the old city. In 1960, a fine pre-Christian mosaic came to light. The Jordanian Tourist Ministry hopes that wider knowledge of the town will help to attract more tourists to Jordan.