Name of Object:

Two carved limestone blocks


Irbid, Jordan

Holding Museum:

Museum of Jordanian Heritage, Yarmouk University


Hegira first quarter of the 2nd century / AD first half of the 8th century

Type of object:

Block, stone

Museum Inventory Number:

A 1937., A 1938

Material(s) / Technique(s):

Carved limestone.


a: Height 46.5 cm, length 57.5 cm, depth 40 cm; b: Height 51 cm, length 70.5 cm, depth 33.5 cm

Period / Dynasty:



Al-Qastal, Jordan.


During an archaeological excavation and restoration works at the palace at al-Qastal in 1983 eight carved limestone blocks with floral and geometric patterns were recovered. They had once decorated the palace at al-Qastal and some of them were re-used in the restoration work that took place in 1983. Carved stone reliefs were a favourite decorative feature of Umayyad palaces, using a decorative repertoire of geometric and vegetal motifs to the exclusion of almost anything else.

These two carved limestone blocks are fragments from a frieze and a lintel that formed part of the middle niche at the eastern side of the palace. One block is decorated with four carved rosettes that are divided into two panels by a decorative divider; the other has a simple carved rosette of six petals set in a circle surrounded by flowers.

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Current Owner:

Department of Antiquities, Jordan

Original Owner:

Probably Al-Walid II (d. 126/ 744)

How date and origin were established:

The Palace where these carved limestone blocks were found has been dated to the Umayyad period.

How Object was obtained:

The limestone blocks were removed in 1983 during archaeological excavations and restoration of the Umayyad palace at al-Qastal.

How provenance was established:

The limestone blocks were found in the Umayyad palace at al-Qastal.

Selected bibliography:

Carlier, P. F., 'Recherches archéologiques au château de Qastal (Jordanie)', ADAJ Vol. XXVIII, 1984, pp.343–83, figs. 27, 29.

Citation of this web page:

Aida Naghawy "Two carved limestone blocks" in Discover Islamic Art , Museum With No Frontiers, 2019.;ISL;jo;Mus01_C;19;en&id=architectural_elements

Prepared by: Aida NaghawyAida Naghawy

Aida Naghawy is an archaeologist and the Director of Jordan Archaeological Museum. She studied archaeology at the University of Jordan where she gained her MA. She was affiliated to the Jordanian Department of Antiquities from 1974 as a curator of Jordan Archaeological Museum. In 1981 she became inspector of Jerash antiquities and co-ordinator of the Jerash International Rehabilitation project. She was also head of the archaeological awareness section at the Department of Antiquities. Aida is the author of numerous publications on Islamic coins. She has carried out excavation work in Jerash and is the founder of Jerash Archaeological Museum and the Islamic Museum of the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs.

Copyedited by: Mandi Gomez

MWNF Working Number: JO 37