Day two: a taste of ancient times
On Saturday, we had our first guest lecture by Dr. Badar AlMadi. He discussed the politics of Jordan and how the Muslim Brotherhood came into being in 1949. The biggest development recently is Jordan’s possible entrance into the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the benefits it could reap. After the lecture, our group traveled by bus to the old part of Amman, in the east, where many ruins and ancient structures are popular tourist attractions. Our first stop was the Roman Amphitheatre, which was astonishing. With the stylistic design employed by the Romans, it’s hard to believe how long ago it was built. The engineering is very advanced as well. There is a “Roman telephone” that let people communicate from across the stage. The sound would echo from one side of the curved stone wall to the other. I tried it out with Erin Strine and Geoff Edgers, and was shocked that it actually worked… I guess hearing is believing.
From the Roman Amphiteatre, I could see much of the city, including the Temple of Hercules. Below are some more pictures of the sites I visited today.
These sites make me long for the olden days, when these places were not historic sites but instead used in daily life. People would fill the rows of seats in the amphitheatre to enjoy entertainment performances. The Temple of Hercules, behind which there is a Citadel and an old Byzantine church, would be used for religious services. People would go pray at these places. Now, they are ogled at by countless tourists who snap photos and pose. I’m guilty of it. But, I can only imagine what it must have been like to attend a liturgy at this location.