Let’s face it, the main reason you’re in Amman, Jordan’s capital, is because you’re on your way to experience the magic of the once-lost-but-now-found ancient city of Petra. You should also want to visit Mt Nebo where, according the bible, Moses died. A visit to Madaba, a drive down the Kings Highway and a 4×4 adventure through the Wadi Rum desert, where most of the movie, Lawrence of Arabia, was filmed. Although you don’t want to spend too much time mucking-about in Amman, you should still spend at least a full-day checking out Citadel Hill.
When you get to the top of Citadel Hill, you’ll get a better feel and view of the city.
It’s home to the Temple of Hercules, constructed by Roman Emporer Marcus Aurelius, who reined for two-decades until 180 A.D.
You can also visit the Roman Theatre that you can look down over from on-top of the hill…
…and make sure you visit the most under-rated museum in the world, in my opinion, the Jordan Archaeological Museum.
Inside you’ll find some artifacts dating back to 10,000 years, including skulls, bones and knives…
…and fossils dating back nearer to a million years.
Among the most important exhibits in the museum are the plaster statues from ‘Ain Ghazal, dating back to around 6,000 B.C. The earliest human statues ever found.
…and the Dead Sea bronze scroll written in Aramaic characters between 150 B.C. to 70 B.C. There’s a modern translation of the Dead Sea scrolls which can be found here and are extremely important in the fact that they’re the oldest known surviving copies of Biblical documents ever found.
The Egyptian museum and the various Roman museums we visited were all amazing, with most artifacts dating back three to five thousand years old. Although not as comprehensive, the Jordan Archaeological Museum is unique in that you can see things that are over 10,000 years old.
Amman is the perfect place to begin in Jordan as you prepare to travel and tackle the amazing ancient city of Petra.
Rob Kaay is an Australian author and musician.
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