The City Of A ThousandColumns


Hidden for centuries in sand before being excavated and restored over the past 70 years, Jerash reveals a fine example of the grand, formal provincial Roman urbanism that is found throughout the Middle East.

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Map of Jerash

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Featured Archaeological Site


This magnificent plaza is emblematic of the ancient city of Gerasa in its architecture, its grandeur and its development. The oval shape is unique and the plaza was actually built to connect the Cardo (the main street of Gerasa) with the Sanctuary of Zeus. In effect it is an enlargement of the street; an architectural means to join the two axes, which were not aligned, by widening the street in an oval shape in front of the main access point to the sanctuary.

While the plaza and the lonic columns that line the perimeter were probably built in the beginning of the 2nd cent. AD, under the rule of Emperor Trajan, the paving came much later, not before the 4th cent. AD. Two small monuments decorated the center of this plaza: the first was a base for a group of statues, possibly representing priestesses, which were offered by some high ranking members of the Hadriane-Helios tribe of Gerasa. The second was a small base on which stood four columns - a tetrakionion - which perhaps protected a statue of the emperor Hadrian.


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