Hisham’s Palace Tree Of Life Mosaic.
Qasr Hisham (Hisham’s Palace) is just five kilometers north of Jericho. The palace was a country residence, built in AD 743 by Al-Walid Ibn Yazid, although it owes its name to his uncle, the Umayyad caliph Hisham Ibn Abd Al-Malik, who ruled an empire stretching from India to the Pyrenees. The palace is a complex of residential quarters, baths, mosques, and colonnaded courts. Its mosaics and stucco ornaments are fine examples of early Islamic architecture.
Experts believe that an earthquake destroyed the palace before it was completed. Thus the accumulated sand and debris helped to preserve the palace’s lovely mosaics. The mosaic floors of the baths are a major attraction, but the Tree of Life is one of the most beautiful mosaics in the Near East. Its vibrant green and gold colors are just astounding, as is its subject.
There are several versions as to why this beautiful mosaic is called the Tree of Life. The most well known version is that while the gazelle on the right is being attacked by the lion, the gazelles on the left are calmly eating the leaves of the Tree. Translated into the fact that… while people suffer the rest continue with their lives.