Montage Monday: Making Mosaics in Madaba

Madaba has one of the largest Christian communities in Jordan. The town was abandoned for about 1100 years, until 2000 Christians migrated from Karak in the 19th century due to a dispute with Muslims. While settling the area and building their houses, these people discovered the Byzantine mosaics that are now Madaba’s tourist attraction. Today you can find all sorts of mosaic souvenirs from drink coasters to wall mounts. While walking around Madaba, I stopped into a mosaic workshop and found this girl working on a large mosaic rug. She said she had been working in the shop for about six weeks, entirely on this commissioned piece. The sticks you see in the lower right are slices of the stone, which she would then cut with clippers to make the small stone pieces. You’re actually looking at what will be the back side of the finished product. Such a tedious job!


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