In 1990 American archeologist Kenneth W. Russell discovered the ruins of a Byzantine-era church. Two years later excavation began on the site of what is today simply called Byzantine Church or Petra Church. Originally constructed by the Nabataeans in the middle of the fifth century AD, the church as expanded and remodeled by the Byzantines in the early sixth century.
Today, the awning-covered ruins are most famous for the 750 square feet (70 square meters) of well-preserved mosaics found within. These floor and wall mosaics, added during the Byzantine remodeling of the church, depict humans, birds and animals within geometric frames.
In 1993 archaeologists discovered a series of carbonized papyrus scrolls dating back to the fourth through sixth centuries AD. Collectively known as the Petra Scrolls, these scrolls represent one of the largest collections of ancient written material ever discovered in Jordan.
The Byzantine Church is located near the Temple of the Winged Lions in the ancient city of Petra.