The ancient ruins at Umm Qais (web only)

| May 15, 2020

Explore Umm Qais, the original site of the ancient city of Gadara, which can be visited on a day trip from Amman. The city is mentioned in the New Testament and today the ruins overlook three countries: Jordan, Syria and Israel & the Palestinian Territories which encompasses the Golan Heights, Mount Hermon and Sea of Galilee. Excavations for this site began in 1974 and since this date archaeologists have uncovered impressive remains of a Byzantine church, mausoleum, theatre and a colonnaded street. Much of the city was built in black basalt, including the West Theatre, which once seated 3,000 people with amazing acoustics. The museum at Umm Qais displays a mosaic dating from the fourth century, found in one of the tombs. Also on display at the museum is a white-marble statue of the Hellenic goddess Tyche, which was found headless. Surrounding the museum are the large ruins of an Ottoman village dating from the 18th and 19th centuries and inhabited until the 1980s, which includes two houses, an Ottoman mosque and a girls’ school.

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