Friday, June 10, 2011

Jerash ruins show artistic influence of Christians, Muslims

Called the "Pompeii of the East," Jerash, in the nation of Jordan is a beautiful Greco-Roman ruin located 80 miles north of Amman. The preserved ruins of Jerash include places of worship and other buildings from the Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine and early Muslim periods. Long disused, archaeological digs in the area began in the 1920s and has become a popular destination for tourists ever since.

Jerash became a member of the Decapolis, a federation of Greek cities, in the third century during the Hellenistic era. It was then known as Gerasa.

Jerash enjoyed semi-autonomous status after its conquering by Pompeii and held considerable prestige as part of the Roman province of Syria, during which it prospered from its position on the incense and spice trade route.

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