Madaba Map

People are always wondering how places looked in the old ages, especially when we are speaking about holy places as Jerusalem in particular and the land of Israel in general.


The first map that we know from the old ages that described the land of Israel is named the Madaba Map (Hebrew: מפת מידבא). This map of Israel was drawn in a church in the city of Madaba, whose location was in the east side of the Jordan River. The Map is dated back to the sixth or the seventh century AD and you can find there a description of the land of Israel and its area.



The Surviving parts of the map describe the areas from the south of Beit Shean to the Nile. Many sacred sites in the map are marked on it and mentioned in the Hebrew Bible. The Madaba Map was discovered in 1884 when archaeologists reconstructed the ancient Byzantine church in Madaba city.

The map is based on the words that were written in the Onomasticon of Eusebius from Caesarea ancient road maps and guides pilgrimage. The map highlights sacred places. Jerusalem is described as the largest on the map, almost ten times larger from the rest on the map.

Jerusalem is found at the center of the map. The mosaic clearly shows a number of significant structures in the Old City of Jerusalem: The gates of the city, churches, the Tower of David and the Cardo.

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