Recent conservation work in Qusayr’Amra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site 85 kilometers east of Amman, has revealed the name of the Umayyad prince who supervised the construction of the building. Conservation work is being carried out by the Jordanian Department of Antiquities, the Higher Institute for Conservation and Restoration in Rome, and the World Monuments Fund.
The place is a small building dating from Umayyad period and is known for his wall paintings. Strip of gazelles and wild donkeys, dances, musicians, scenes and allegories of the court and zodiac symbols are painted on the interior walls.
- Inscription where the name of the Prince can be read
The inscription, previously unreadable due to the accumulation of dirt and the previous unsuccessful cleaning attempts, is an invocation to Allah from the formula "Allahumma aslih-al-Walîd ibn Yazîd” (“Oh God! Make al-Walîd ibn Yazîd victorious”). This inscription is painted in white above a window in the ancient Kufic alphabet without any diacritics. Translations of three-line sections of the inscription are being done.
Walid ibn Yazid, or Walid II, was an Umayyad caliph who reigned for just over a year, from February 743 to April 744. The inscription, however, does not have the typical expressions used for Umayyad caliphs (‘Servant of God’, ‘Prince of believers'), Which indicates that it was painted when Walid was still a prince, during the reign of Hisham bin Abd el-Malik (723-743).
The current Qusayr ‘Amra conservation campaign started in 2009 with the aim of consolidating the structure and cleaning the wall paintings. This last activity is revealing bright colors and unexpected details that can be seen now for the first time, at least 1,300 years after the site was abandoned by the Abbasid revolution, which resulted in the defeat of the Umayyads in 750.
Due to its artistic and architectural importance, Qusayr ‘Amra was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1985 as a exceptional testimony of the Umayyad civilization and figurative art. In 2008, Qusayr ‘Amra was listed on World Monument Watch to draw attention to the importance of the place and conservation needs.
Graduated in Journalism and Audiovisual Communication, since I was little I have been attracted to the world of information and audiovisual production. Passion for informing and being informed of what is happening in every corner of the planet. Likewise, I am pleased to be part of the creation of an audiovisual product that will later entertain or inform people. My interests include cinema, photography, the environment and, above all, history. I consider it essential to know the origin of things to know where we come from and where we are going. Special interest in curiosities, mysteries and anecdotal events in our history.