Information about Umm Al-Jimal

Location: Jordan

Umm el-JimalĀ  is a village in Northern Jordan approximately 17 kilometers west of Mafraq. It is primarily notable for the substantial ruins of a Byzantine and early Islamic town which are clearly visible above the ground, as well as an older Roman village located to the southwest of the Byzantine ruins.

The village was first settled in the second century A.D. following the incorporation of the Nabatean empire into the Roman empire by Trajan. This settlement was destroyed in the middle of the third century A.D., probably during the revolt against the Romans led by Queen Zenobia of Palmyra (de Vries 1990).

The Byzantine village began as a military outpost in the late Roman attempt to defend the Empire's periphery. A prosperous rural community developed around this outpost, reaching its peak in the sixth century A.D. Plague and war weakened the community, and the earthquake of 748 resulted in destruction from which it was never able to recover (de Vries 1990).

The site remained unoccupied until the early 20th century when a community of Druze settled in Umm el-Jimal for a few years reusing the ancient Byzantine structures, before abandoning the site again. The current village was established around 1950 and is built around the Byzantine remains (de Vries 1990).