Monday, November 16, 2009

Amman, Then and Now

If you’re not a subscriber to the BiblePlaces Newsletter (or if it landed in your spam box), you may not know that the Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan volume of The American Colony and Eric Matson Collection is now available.  Here is one of my favorite photos from the CD:

Amman, aerial view, acropolis and theater, mat13641

This is an aerial view of Amman, looking down on the acropolis (foreground) and the ancient heart of the Roman city, including the theater.  The acropolis is notable because it is almost untouched, whereas today it has roads, a museum, and many excavated areas.  The area around the theater is now the center of a dense urban city.

In biblical times, the city was known as Rabbah or Rabbath-ammon.  In the Roman period, the city was called Philadelphia and was one of the cities of the Decapolis.

My attempts to get in an airplane over the city have been unsuccessful, but the photo below will give you some idea of how the area has changed.

Amman theater, tb031801008 Amman theater from the acropolis

The top photo is one of 25 photos of Amman in the Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan volume of The American Colony and Eric Matson Collection (Library of Congress, LC-matpc-13641).  The bottom photo is from the Jordan volume of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands.

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