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Early Byzantine tomb unearthed in Jordan's Beit Ras


The Jordan Tourism Board has reported the discovery of an ancient tomb in the northern city of Beit Ras, unearthed during works to expand a local sewerage network.

Early Byzantine tomb unearthed in Jordan's Beit Ras
Scene portraying agricultural life [Credit: La Stampa]
The tomb consists of two burial chambers, one larger than the other. In the main chamber archaeologists found a basalt sarcophagus decorated with carvings of two lion heads. The second chamber contained two more graves but no artefacts.

Early Byzantine tomb unearthed in Jordan's Beit Ras
Basalt sarcophagus decorated with carvings of two lion heads [Credit: La Stampa]
What truly makes the tomb unique, however, are the numerous brightly coloured frescoes depicting human figures, horses and mythological scenes which, say experts, provide valuable information about the funeral rites of the time.

Early Byzantine tomb unearthed in Jordan's Beit Ras
Many of the frescoes are said to be in a good state of preservation [Credit: La Stampa]
The inscriptions and some of the artefacts found in the main chamber are being analyzed to determine the exact time and for whom this tomb was constructed. Preliminary analysis suggests that the tombs are from the late Roman or early Byzantine periods.

Early Byzantine tomb unearthed in Jordan's Beit Ras
Scene portraying agricultural life [Credit: La Stampa]
The director of the Antiquities Department, Munther Jamhawi, explained that the city of Beit Ras was one of the ancient Hellenistic and Roman cities of the Decapolis, known at that time as Capitolias.

Early Byzantine tomb unearthed in Jordan's Beit Ras
Mythological scene [Credit: La Stampa]
The city was also mentioned in Arabic poetry as a unique place that included a theatre of the Second Century and a Byzantine Church that inspired the architectural styles used later during the Islamic and, specifically, during the early Umayyad era.

Source: Europa Pass [November 18, 2016]
TANN

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