Petra Nights Tours

Umm Al Jimal Jordan


Umm Al Jimal, 120 km north of Amman, is located at the edge of the eastern desert plain. Due to its black basalt ruins, mainly from the Byzantine and Roman period, it is known as "Black Gem of the Desert". The Nabatean Arabs established here in the first century BC a settlement due to the location at the trade routes between Damascus and the south. Caravans stopped here and the name of the site possibly refers to this function: Umm Al Jimal means "Mother of Camels" in Arabic.

The Romans took over and from the 2nd century Umm Al Jimal was used as a military outpost. They built a new reservoir, a hydraulic system outside the city to supply its cisterns and reservoirs, and a large fort. In the Byzantine time more houses and 14 churches had been constructed. The churches offer space for 200 believers and often you can find here the Byzantine cross as decoration. The earthquake of 747 destroyed the most of the town. The site remained unoccupied until the early 20th century when a community of Druze settled here for a few years.

Umm als Jimal is 87 kms distant from the capital Amman and fascinates through the good state of preservation, nearly a kilometer long and a half kilometer wide with over a hundred and fifty buildings. Although most of the buildings in Umm Al Jimal are practical, private houses without any magnificence.

Ruins-of-Um-Al—Jimal

Black-Gem-of-Desert

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