Desert Castles in Jordan - Umm al-Jimal

The Roman-Byzantine-Umayyad city of Umm al-Jimal (mother of the camel) was built on a previous Nabatean settlement. The area is called “black oasis” because of the proliferation of volcanic stone strewn across the landscape. It is located 10km from the Syrian border east of the town of Mafraq, it is believed to have been a caravan staging post.


Umm al-Jimal is constructed of square cut basalt rocks, supported by solid, rectangular basalt beams. A unique feature of the site are the numerous cisterns, large and small. There are ground level aqueducts, suggesting that water was tapped far away and brought to Umm al-Jimal via these aqueducts.