Selasa, 10 September 2013


Amman Citadel


The Amman Citadel is a national historic site at the center of downtown AmmanJordan. Known in Arabic as Jabal al-Qal'a, (جبل القلعة), the L-shaped hill is one of the seven jabals that originally made up Amman. Evidence of occupation since the pottery Neolithic period[1] has been found, making it among the world's oldest continuously inhabited places.
The Amman Citadel’s history represents significant civilizations that  stretched across continents and prospered for centuries, as one empire  gave rise to the next. It also symbolizes the birth of the three great  monotheistic religions - Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
Settlement at the Citadel extends over 7,000 years. The site  represents a passage in time with an astounding open-air museum to  explore as a part of the heritage of mankind.
Though the fortification walls enclose the heart of the site, the  ancient periods of occupation covered large areas. Historic structures,  tombs, arches, walls and stairs have no modern borders, and therefore  there is considerable archaeological potential at this site, as well as  in surrounding lands, and throughout Amman.
The Amman Citadel is also the site of Jordan Archaeological Museum, which is home to a collection of these artifacts as well as objects from other Jordanian historic sites.
A great part of the Citadel remains unexcavated.

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Temple of Hercules on the Citadel Mountain in Amman.

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Amman Citadel

 The Hill of the Citadel (Jabal al-Qal'a) in the middle of Amman was  occupied as early as the Neolithic period, and fortified during the  Bronze Age (1800 BC). The ruins on the hill today are Roman through early Islamic. The name "Amman" comes from "Rabbath  Ammon," or "Great City of the Ammonites," who settled in the region some time after 1200 BC.  The Bible records that King David captured the city in the early 10th  century BC; Uriah the Hittite, husband of King David's paramour  Bathsheba, was killed here after the king ordered him to the front line of battle.  
In ancient times, Amman with its surrounding region was  successively ruled by the then-superpowers of the Middle East: Assyria  (8th century BC), Babylonia (6th century), the Ptolemies, the Seleucids (third century BC), Rome (1st century BC),  and the Umayyads (7th century AD). Renamed "Philadelphia" after himself by Ptolemy II Philadelphus, the  city was incorporated into Pompey the Great's province of Syria, and later into  the province of Arabia created by Trajan (106 AD). As the southernmost city of the  Decapolis, Philadelphia prospered during Imperial times due to its  advantageous location alongside Trajan's new trade and administrative  road, the Via Nova Traiana.  
When Transjordan passed into Arab rule in the 7th century AD, its  Umayyad rulers restored the city's original name of Amman. Neglected under the Abbasids and abandoned by the Mamlukes, the city's fortunes did not revive until the late 19th century, under the Ottoman empire. Amman became the capital of the Emirate of Transjordan  in 1921, and of the newly-created Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in 1947.  Greater Amman (the core city plus suburbs) today remains by far the most important  urban area in Jordan, containing over half of the country's population  or about 3 million out of 5 million people.

Byzantine Church

Citadel, Amman, Jordan  
The Byzantine basilica was constructed in the 5th-6th centuries AD. Its nave is flanked by two rows of columns. The photo  looks eastwards from the entrance down the length of the nave, towards  the partially reconstructed semicircular wall of the apse.

Umayyad Mosque

Citadel, Amman, Jordan
This view looking north shows the domed entrance (vestibule) to the Umayyad governor's palace (8th century) in the background. The dome is a modern reconstruction that gives the building an odd,  Pac-Man-like appearance. The entrance to the vestibule is the large semicircular archway below the dome.  In the foreground are the remains of the palace mosque, whose column  bases surround an open courtyard. A short section of the mosque's wall has been reerected here. 
The photo makes it clear that the axis of the vestibule is not  aligned with the axis of the mosque, which nominally points in the  direction of Mecca. There doesn't seem to be any obvious reason why the  vestibule could not have been lined up with the mosque, although I  suppose there is no architectural rule that would have required it to do so.


Citadel, Amman, Jordan 
This large cistern, located to the right of the vestibule, was the primary water supply to the governor's palace. At 5m deep and 16m in diameter, it would have held just over 1,000 cubic meters, or approximately 250,000 gallons, of water. The cistern was fed by rainwater through an inlet channel, and could be entered for maintenance by the stairs shown in the photo. A column, whose stump is standing at the bottom of the cistern, measured the water level.

Dome of the Vestibule

Citadel, Amman, Jordan  
The interior of the dome of the Umayyad vestibule is shown here. This is a modern recreation; the original dome's interior would have been painted and plastered, giving a much different appearance.

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