The Greco-Roman ancient city of Jerash in Jordan is one of the best-preserved ancient Roman provincial towns in the Mediterranean.
Located 48 kilometres north of Amman (capital of Jordan), Jerash (also known as Gerash) existed as a small insignificant settlement before the Greeks founded the city during the Hellenistic period after the conquest of Alexander the Great in the 3rd century.
As the city grew into an urban centre, it became part of the Decapolis, a federation of Greek cities founded in the Hellenistic era within the region.
Dubbed the ‘Pompeii of the East’ due to its excellent state of preservation
After the Roman conquest of the region in 63 BC, the city was absorbed into the vast Roman Empire and grew wealthy and prosperous as more trade flowed through it. Emperor Hadrian even visited the city during 129 AD.
Jerash reached its zenith and golden age during the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD, when a building frenzy took place mainly due to the generous donations of the city’s wealthy residents. What is seen today is mainly from that period.
Dubbed as the ‘Pompeii of the East’ due to its excellent state of preservation , it has a number of outstanding and ornate architectural remnants of its past, among the more spectacular remains are a striking oval forum, the Cardo with its flanking colonnaded, triumphal arches, food market, hippodrome, two theatres and temples of Zeus and Artemis.
Jerash Archaeological City is on the Unesco Tentative List, which is a list of properties considered to be cultural and/or natural heritage of outstanding universal value and therefore suitable for inscription on the Unesco World Heritage List.
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