Jerash Feb 2011

The ancient city of Jerash in Jordan is one of the few cities in the world which can boast an unbroken record of human occupation since 6,500 years ago.  The new town here is now built to the east of ancient city with the old and new cities sharing a city wall.  Jerash was one of the ten great Roman cities of the Decapolis League and was called Gerasa.  It is also one of the best preserved Roman provincial towns in the world.

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Petra Feb 2011

Petra, a prehistoric caravan city in Jordan, was lost to the Western world for hundreds of years.  It is located in the desert between the Red Sea and the Dead Sea on an important crossroad between Arabia, Egypt and Syria.  Petra was once a trading center and the capital of the Nabataean empire between 400 BC and 106 AD.  Petra is half built and half carved into the rock.  The Nabataeans picked this location for the surrounding mountains with its windy entrances resembling a fortress.  They were an advanced society with ingenious networks of water capture, storage and irrigation systems, hence creating an artificial oasis in the desert. Their architectural style is also a unique combination of Hellenistic and Nabataean, which we were told was their way of making traders visiting the city feel “at home” with architecture familiar to them.

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