The Umayyad palace complex at Jabal al-Qal’a, the Citadel at Amman, differs in its layout and architecture from the rest of the desert palaces in Jordan; it was the administrative centre and residence for the governor of the region. It also included the construction of separate courtyard house units of a variety of sizes, ranging from two rooms and a courtyard to seven rooms, a latrine and a courtyard, meanwhile the residential units of the palace in one structure had ten rooms, a latrine, a staircase and a courtyard.
Excavations uncovered a number of upper class residences from the 7th-8th centuries, and the sudden collapse of the building may be attributed to the earthquake of 749. The main house (380 m2) over the Museum site is preserved to a height of about 2.5m, built around a closed inner courtyard. The courtyard (8.6m wide) has a cistern with a shaft. Plastered drains, in the north-east and north-west corners of the courtyard conducted water from the roof to the cistern. The cistern appears to have been constructed originally in the early Byzantine period.
The room, which faced the courtyard with a wide entrance, was considered by the excavators to be a diwan (a reception room in the tradition of the Roman-Byzantine triclinium). This supposedly reception room, had a laid clay floor. The other lower-storey rooms apparently served as storerooms and workrooms. According to Harding (1951), parts of a mosaic floor were found on the upper storey, which apparently constituted the living quarters.
However, Northedge assumed that the building is apparently a single-storey, as no evidence has survived of the roofing technique of a second storey or of a staircase to the roof. He has speculated that the roof may be barrel-vaulted, similar to another building in the same area.