Jordània, dia 7: visita a Amman i Jarash ( 3 de gener de 2018) (III)
Amb el petit bus anem remuntant carrers d’Amman i acabem a dalt de la ciutadella (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amman_Citadel ).
En Moha ens explica que antigament Amman s’anomenava Filadèlfia, tot i que no se sap bé si en honor a l’emperador grec Philadelphus (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ptolemy_II_Philadelphus; https://ca.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ptolemeu_II_Filadelf ) o bé el nom és degut a que hi vivien molts fills de germans que s’havien aparellat entre sí i que rebien el nom de Phiadelphus (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philadelphus_(disambiguation) ).
Però per conèixer un xic més Amman, cal conèixer la seva història. A viquipèdia es conta (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Amman ):” Amman (English: /ɑːˈmɑːn/; Arabic: عمّان) is the capital and most populous city of Jordan, and the country's economic, political and cultural centre. Situated in north-central Jordan, Amman is the administrative centre of the Amman Governorate.
The earliest evidence of settlement in the area is a Neolithic site known as 'Ain Ghazal. Its successor was known as "Rabbath Ammon", which was the capital of the Ammonites, then as "Philadelphia", and finally as Amman. It was initially built on seven hills but now spans over 19 hills combining 27 districts, which are administered by the Greater Amman Municipality headed by its mayor Aqel Biltaji. Areas of Amman have either gained their names from the hills (Jabal) or valleys (Wadi) they lie on, such as Jabal Lweibdeh and Wadi Abdoun. East Amman is predominantly filled with historic sites that frequently host cultural activities, while West Amman is more modern and serves as the economic center of the city.
In the outskirts of Amman, one of the largest known ancient settlements in the Near East was discovered. The site, known as 'Ain Ghazalwhich is situated on a valley-side, dates back to 7250 BC and spans an area of 15 hectares. It was a typical average sized aceramicNeolithic village that accommodated around 3,000 inhabitants. Its houses were rectangular mud-bricked buildings that included a main square living room, whose walls were made up of lime plaster. The site was discovered in 1974 as construction workers were working on a road crossing the area. By 1982 when the excavations started, around 600 meters (2,000 feet) of road ran through the site. Despite the damage brought by urban expansion, the remains of 'Ain Ghazal provided wealthy information.
'Ain Ghazal is well known for a set of small human statues found buried in pits which were discovered in 1983, when local archaeologists stumbled upon the edge of a large pit 2.5 meters (8.2 feet) containing plaster statues. These statues are human figures made with white plaster. The figures have painted clothes, hair, and in some cases ornamental tattoos. 32 figures were found in two caches, 15 of them full figures, 15 busts, and two fragmentary heads. Three of the busts were two-headed, the significance of which is not clear.
In the 13th century BC Amman was the capital of the Ammonites, and became known as "Rabbath Ammon". Ammon provided several natural resources to the region, including sandstone and limestone. Along with a productive agricultural sector, which made Ammon a vital location along the King's Highway, the ancient trade route connecting Egypt with Mesopotamia, Syria and Anatolia. As with the Edomites and Moabites, trade along this route gave the Ammonites considerable revenue. Ammonites worshiped an ancient deity called Moloch. Excavations by archaeologists near Amman Civil Airportuncovered a temple, which included an altar containing many human bone fragments. The bones showed evidence of burning, which led to the assumption that the altar functioned as a pyre.
According to the biblical narrative in 2 Samuel 11, it was during the Israelite siege of Amman (Rabbah) that King David ensured Uriah the Hittite, the husband of Bathsheba whom David had seduced, was placed in the centre of the battle, where be could be killed by the Ammonites.
Today, several Ammonite ruins across Amman exist, such as Qasr Al-Abd, Rujm Al-Malfouf and some parts of the Amman Citadel. The ruins of Rujm Al-Malfouf consist of a surveillance stone tower that was used to ensure protection of their capital and several store rooms east of it. The city was later conquered by the Assyrian Empire, followed by the Persian Empire.
Conquest of the Middle East and Central Asia by Alexander the Great firmly consolidated the influence of Hellenistic culture.The Greeks founded new cities in the area of modern-day Jordan, including Umm Qays, Jerash and Amman. Ptolemy II Philadelphus, the Macedonian ruler of Egypt, who occupied and rebuilt the city, named it "Philadelphia", which means "brotherly love" in Greek. The name was given as an adulation to his own nickname, Philadelphus.
One of the most original monuments in Jordan, and perhaps in the Hellenistic period in the Near East, is the village of Iraq Al-Amir in the valley of Wadi Al-Sir, southwest of Amman, which is home to Qasr Al-Abd (Castle of the Slave). Other nearby ruins include a village, an isolated house and a fountain, all of which are barely visible today due to the damage brought by a major earthquake that hit the region in the year 362. Qasr Al-Abd is believed to have been built by Hyrcanus of Jerusalem, who was the head of the powerful Tobiad family. Shortly after he began the construction of that large building, in 170 BC upon returning from a military campaign in Egypt, Antiochus IV conquered Jerusalem, ransacked a temple where the treasure of Hyrcanus was kept and appeared determined to attack Hyrcanus. Upon hearing this, Hyrcanus committed suicide, leaving his palace in Philadelphia uncompleted. The Tobiads fought the Arab Nabateans for twenty years until they lost the city to them. After losing Philadelphia, we no longer hear of the Tobiad family in written sources
The Romans conquered much of the Levant in 63 BC, inaugurating a period of Roman rule that lasted for four centuries. In the northern modern-day Jordan, the Greek cities of Philadelphia (Amman), Gerasa, Gedara, Pella and Arbila joined with other cities in Palestine and Syria; Scythopolis, Hippos, Capitolias, Canatha and Damascus to form the Decapolis League, a fabled confederation linked by bonds of economic and cultural interest. Philadelphia became a point along a road stretching from Ailah to Damascus that was built by Emperor Trajan in 106 AD. This provided an economic boost for the city in a short period of time. During the late Byzantine era in the 7th century, several bishops and churches were based in the city.
Roman rule in Jordan left several ruins across the country, some of which exist in Amman, such as the Temple of Hercules at the Amman Citadel, the Roman Theatre, the Odeon, and the Nymphaeum. The two theatres and the Nymphaeum fountain were built during the reign of Emperor Antoninus Pius around 161 AD. The theatre was the larger venue of the two and had a capacity for 6,000 attendees. It was oriented north and built into the hillside, to protect the audience from the sun. To the northeast of the theatre was a small odeon. Built at roughly the same time as the theatre, the Odeon had 500 seats and is still in use today for music concerts. Archaeologists speculate that the structure was originally covered with a wooden roof to shield the audience from the weather. The Nymphaeum is situated southwest of the Odeon and served as Philadelphia's chief fountain. The Nymphaeum is believed to have contained a 600-square meter pool which was three meters deep and was continuously refilled with water.(Continuarà)
(La fotografia és del sostre de la mesquita del rei Hussein, a Amman)