Amman, the capital of Jordan, is a fascinating city of contrasts - a unique blend of old and new, ideally situated on a hilly area between the desert and the fertile Jordan Valley. In the commercial heart of the city, ultra-modern buildings, hotels, restaurants, art galleries, and boutiques rub shoulders comfortably with traditional coffee shops and artisans’ workshops. Everywhere is the evidence of the city’s much older past. Almost half of Jordan’s population is concentrated in the Amman area. The downtown area is older and more traditional with smaller businesses producing and selling. The people are multi-cultural, multi-denominational, well educated and extremely hospitible. They welcome visitors and take pride in showing them around their fascinating city.
The Citadel became the focus of settlement from as early as the Early Bronze Age (3200 - 2000 BC). However, structural remains from this cultural phase are scanty and attested only in a few rock-cut tombs. In the Middle Bronze Age (2000 - 1550 BC), the Citadel was fortified with masonry sloping walls. Goods, such as alabaster vases, faience vessels, and scarabs were imported from Egypt. In the Late Bronze Age (1550 - 1200 BC) commercial links expanded to include Cyprus and the Mycenaean islands. The Iron Age (1200 - 539 BC), which coincides with biblical history, is when iron began to be used. During this time, Jordan was split into small states, on of which, Rabbath Ammon, King David conquered in 10th century BC. After regaining independence, Ammon built a fortressed defensive system to protect against western approaches. 8th century BC saw rule form Assyrians, Babylonians and Persians. In 63 BC, Ammon was absorbed into the Roman Empire when general Pompey made it part of the Decapolis League. Roman art and architecture began to flourish. During the Byzantine period, the city was the seat of a Christian Bishop and two churches were constructed. By the early 7th century, Islam was spreading northwards form the Arabian Peninsula and by 635 AD had embraced the land as part of its domain. Over the following centuries, Amman’s fortunes and importance declined, many moved out of the area. Upon the weakening of the Ottoman Empire, many persecuted Muslims found refuge in Amman. But it was the construction of the Hejaz Railway which brought the city to life, linking Damascus and Medina through Amman.
- The Citadel: the Umayyad Palace; the Temple of Hercules; the Byzantine Church
- The Roman Theater
- The Roman Forum
- The Nymphaeum
- The Grand Husseini Mosque
- American Centre for Oriental Research
- Council for British Research in the Levant
- French Institute of Archaeology for the Near East
- Friends of Archaeology
- German Protestant Institute for Archaeology
- Department of Antiquities
- Jordan Archaeological Museum
- Jordanian Museum of Popular Tradition
- Jordan Folklore Museum
- The Archaeological Museum / University of Jordan
- The Anthropological Musuem / University of Jordan
- The Numismatics Museum / Central Bank of Jordan
- Royal Automobile Museum
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