Rising out of Jordan’s northern basalt plain, beautiful Umm al-Jimal (Arabic: ام الجمال, "Mother of Camels"), is a village in Northern Jordan approximately 17 kilometres east of Mafraq. Umm al-Jimal is both a modern town and an ancient archaeological site, home to almost 2000 years of fascinating history and culture - Nabataean, Roman, Byzantine, Umayyad, Mamluk, Ottoman and Modern.
Although it is primarily notable for the substantial ruins of a Byzantine and early Islamic town, which are clearly visible above the ground, as well as an older Roman village (locally referred to as al-Herri) located to the southwest of the Byzantine ruins, what makes Umm al-Jimal stand out in this landscape is not just its larger size, but its remarkable state of preservation. Whereas neighbouring settlements are badly ruined and quarried out, at Umm al-Jimal one can still see the the standing remains that composed this ancient success story. Not only that, but Umm al-Jimal has served successive generations from its first century origins up to its resettlement in the 20th century by Syrian Druze and bedouin Msa'eid people. In fact, its last inhabitants are still living older members of the modern community, many of whom can say, “Yes, we lived in this house and drank the water from that reservoir,” pointing to an ancient house and its nearby birkeh. The heritage of Umm al-Jimal as a settlement has therefore been enduring, and has been a major formative influence on the cultural identity of modern Jordan.