Studium Biblicum Franciscanum Archive, Photo M. Piccirillo

Jerusalem up close is depicted in the border of an extraordinary mosaic floor in the eighth-century Church of Saint Stephen at Umm er-Rasas in central Jordan. The Umm er-Rasas mosaic, unearthed by Father Michele Piccirillo of the Franciscan Archaeological Institute in Jerusalem, features a central carpet of circles composed of vines issuing from a plant at the base. These vignettes contain vibrant though largely disfigured scenes of hunting, agriculture and pastoral work. This central section of the mosaic is enclosed by a dark frame showing repeated scenes of boating, fishing and aquatic life. This, in turn, is enclosed by a geographical border depicting individual cities from Palestine to Egypt—including, of course, Jerusalem.