Garo Nalbandian

This damaged mosaic floor is from the late-sixth-century Church of Lions at Umm al-Rasas. In the rectangular panel at upper center, the bodies of two lions on either side of a tree have been gouged out; only their heads and necks remain. At either end of the panel, gazelles feed off trees; the gazelle at left was stripped away, whereas the one at right remains alive and eating. Scholars are still trying to explain this seemingly random destruction, in which some mosaics were destroyed or scrambled while others—sometimes right at hand, like the two gazelles—were not touched.