UMM AL-JIMAL (أم الجمال)

We arrived in stormy and windy weather at the Umm Al-Jimal near the Jordanian–Syrian border. An extensive rural settlement in the lava lands east of Mafraq. The incredible ruins are located on the edge of a series of volcanic basalt flows that slope down from Jebel Druze, providing high-quality building materials. The unpretentious urban architecture encompasses more than 150 buildings standing one to three stories above ground, including 128 houses and 15 churches. These buildings provide a fascinating insight into rural life during the Roman, Byzantine, and early Islamic periods. Compared to other archaeological sites in the region, Umm Al-Jimal was rarely looted or vandalized, which has left much of the original layout intact. Little is known about the ruined city, which archaeologists refer to as the “Black Gem of the Desert.”

Parking location – Umm Al-Jimal: 32.324063N 36.368283E (🚻)