From The History Blog
One of the largest floor mosaics in the world has been unveiled after five years of restoration in Hisham’s Palace, an 8th century royal compound three miles north of the occupied West Bank city of Jericho. Covering 9,000 square feet and composed of more than five million tesserae made from colorful local stone, the mosaic features a dizzying array of geometric and floral designs of kaleidoscopic intricacy.
Hisham’s Palace was built in the first half of the 8th century, one of the desert castles the Umayyad dynasty. The palace complex covers 150 acres and includes a bath house and a hayr, an enclosed horticultural area that served as both park and kitchen garden supplying food for the palace. It remained in use until around 1000.