We drove to Jerash, north of Amman, to visit the site of an ancient Greco-Roman city dating from 70 AD. It was partially destroyed in the 8th century by earthquakes and in the 12th century Crusaders briefly occupied the city. In recent times a modern city of 50,000 residents surrounds the ancient site.
First we saw the well preserved Hadrian’s Gate.
The main avenue running through the city was lined with columns.
This is the main temple dedicated to Artemis.
The theatre was filled with groups of teenagers who were attending an event honoring sports teams. By cheering for their teams they demonstrated that the acoustics of the structure are excellent!
In the hippodrome, we watched a demonstration of Roman military tactics including a battle between “barbarians.”
After the sad demise of this unlucky fellow, we watched a chariot race.
While in Jerash, our tour director, Samir, took us to his home.
From his rooftop patio, Samir proudly pointed out his olive trees, and beyond them, a Palestinian refugee camp. The UN is leasing the properties for 100 years, so the camp contains permanent buildings.
Our next stop was to visit a 12th century Saracen castle that was highly fortified including a moat with a draw bridge.
On our way back to Amman, we stopped at an olive oil processing facility to watch the fall crop of olives being washed, sorted, and squeezed. These are bags of olives that were just harvested.
And we had bread with us for tasting the freshly squeezed olive oil!
After we returned to Amman we learned of the tragic loss of a group of teenagers in a flash flood by the Dead Sea. Flash floods are not uncommon in the region.