“The Holy City of Jerusalem”—as the map labels it—appears in greatest detail (at right, rotated 180°; compare with drawing of mosaic map). The mosaic artists depicted Jerusalem as a walled city, oval in shape and protected by towers. Red-roofed churches dominate the cityscape. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, built by Constantine on the traditional site of Jesus’ tomb, stands half way down the city’s main street, the Cardo Maximus.

According to author Aaron Demsky, the understanding of the Holy Land as a cluster of biblical sites is a Christian concept; a contemporaneous mosaic (see photo below) from a Jewish synagogue in Rehov, Israel, provides a very different understanding of the Holy Land’s role in worship and belief.