Recent conservation work at Qusayr ’Amra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site 85 kilometers east of Amman, has revealed the name of the Umayyad prince who commissioned the construction of the building. The conservation work is being conducted by the Department of Antiquities of Jordan, the Istituto Superiore per la Conservazione ed il Restauro in Rome, and World Monuments Fund. The site is a small building dating to the Umayyad period and is known for its mural paintings.
Gazelle and wild donkey hunts, dances, musicians, court scenes and allegories, and zodiac symbols are all painted on interior surfaces. The inscription, which previously could not be read due to accumulated dirt and previous unsuccessful cleaning attempts, is an invocation to Allah beginning with the formula “Allahumma aslih al-Walid ibn Yazîd” (“Oh God! Make al-Walîd ibn Yazîd virtuous”). This inscription was painted in white above a window in old Kufic alphabet without any diacritical dots. Sections of the three-line inscription are still being translated.
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