11 Apr 2019
Posted in Archaeology, Architecture, History, Travel with us

Spotlight on Jordan.

The country of Jordan has much to recommend it. Its centerpiece, ancient Petra, should be on every world traveler’s bucket list, but we also love Jerash, just an hour’s drive from the capital city of Amman. Here stand the ruins of the Greco-Roman city of Gerasa, originally founded circa 331 B.C. by Alexander the Great and his general, Perdiccas.

Jerash abounds in Roman remains. In fact, it has been called the most complete city of the Decapolis, a confederation of 10 Roman cities dating from the first century B.C. Jerash reached its peak in the early third century A.D. and fell into decline as overland caravans were replaced by trade on the seas.

Emperor Trajan constructed roads in the provinces in A.D. 106 that directed commerce to Jerash and enriched the city. Emperor Hadrian visited in A.D. 129, and you can still visit the Triumphal Arch (also known as the Arch of Hadrian) Jerash built to celebrate his arrival.

Other Roman highlights in Jerash? The Temple of Artemis, built between A.D. 150 and 170 and once flanked by a dozen elaborately carved Corinthian columns (11 still stand).

The uniquely shaped Oval Forum, which served as a marketplace and hub of the city’s social and political life.

And the Cardo Maximus, a superbly straight colonnaded road along which you can walk from the North Gate to the Forum. Built in the first century A.D., it has an ingenious underground drainage system. The flagstone street beneath your feet still bears evidence of its days as the city’s principal thoroughfare—ruts worn by thousands of chariot wheels.

Consider a visit to incredible Jordan, and if you’re headed there, we suggest you add time in neighboring Israel or in Egypt. For information, contact Kiran Chand at kchand@rcrusoe.com or call 888-490-8013.

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