The Architecture and Decoration Varieties of Khirbat al Mafjar
Keywords:palace, architecture, decoration, varieties, aesthetic, symbolic
The 8th century desert palace Khirbat al Mafjar remains (in present day Jordan) is a matchless specimen of Umayyad luxurious lifestyle and their perception for art. The palace is amalgamation of variety of decoration type like carved and moulded stucco, stone relief and birds and figure sculpture and also frescos paintings. It is famous for its well-preserved floor mosaics. Although credited to caliph Hisham (r. AD 724– 743) but his successor and also his nephew named as Al Walid II probably built this palace (r. AD 743– 44) . However after five years Al-Walid’s died and, the palace was smashed due to an earthquake. This article discusses the building designed structure and the ornamentation and decoration varieties used in the architecture. Though this palace is famous for its mosaics but this paper covers its main parts of architecture and all types of varieties. It’s an explorative study collected from historical data, literature and excavation reports and in the end it concludes that this palace is unique not only for its varieties but also the symbolic meanings of elements in the decoration. These symbols have some logic or reason of representing in the palace that explains the power and authority of the owner. In other words not just depiction of luxurious lifestyle but the aesthetics and symbolic both designs are the parts of this Umayyad era building.