Hey look, more Roman ruins! Those Greeks & Romans really did love to build columns and cities around the Mediterrean. You’d think I’d be sick of them by now… Well ok, maybe I am a little bit. But today, Usama took us to the ruins of Jerash, a Roman city about 1 hour north of Amman. The city was founded, at least in its largest sense, in the 300 BC by Alexander the Great. It flourished through the Roman period due to its strategic location on a major trade route.
As with more Roman cities, you are going to see some staple structures: a theater, colonnades, a hippodrome, temples to various gods, entry arch and a forum or agora area. This was definitely the case at Jerash as well. The site is expansive and is located up on, I know shocking, an acropolis or hilltop. You can get some pretty nice views of the modern city which surrounds the site.
What I appreciated about Jeresh is how well preserved the different structures are. None of them are the biggest or oldest of the Roman cities, but it has a nice foundation with lots of structures still standing. For me, it provided one of the best visualizations of what a Roman city felt like to live in. I was particularly impressed Oval Forum in the center of the site. Most of the pillars still stand and it was expanded in the 300 ADs from its original size, which you can see in the limestone stones on the ground. The Temples of Artemis was also pretty impressive due to it’s sheer size. Again, the foundation is in good shape so you can really get a feel for how massive and big these temples really were.
I think this is the last Roman city I’ll visiting on this trip so we can all breathe a cumlative sigh of relief. You don’t have to read about them anymore and I don’t have to write about them anymore. It’s our last day in Jordan today and tomorrow we are off to Cairo. For a whole different type of ruins: ancient Egyptian ruins. Everybody get excited!!