Fragment Carved with Vine Scroll and a Triangle Trimmed with Bead-and-Reel Motif
Made in Jordan, Qasr al-Mshatta
23 x 39 x 16 in. (58.4 x 99.1 x 40.6 cm)
Department of Antiquities, Qasr al-Mshatta Archaeological Site, Jordan
Not on view
Qasr al-MshattaThe unfinished palace at Mshatta near Amman, Jordan is the largest of the Umayyad palaces. Resembling a fortress with its twenty-five semicircular towers and monumental entrance gate, it had a grand audience hall on the same axis as the entrance. The gatehouse complex near the entrance included a mosque. The exterior walls flanking the entrance gate were covered with elaborately carved decoration in the Byzantine tradition. The building may have been ordered by the Umayyad caliph al-Walid II (r. 743–44) to welcome those returning from the pilgrimage (hajj) to Mecca and then left unfinished at his death.This elaborately decorated fragment was part of the tip of a triangle on the faade at Mshatta that defined the decoration of the external walls. To the left of the tip is scrolling vegetation and to the right is a portion of a beaded medallion.