Thirty Years at Gerasa
From The Jordan Times:
Regional politics, Jordanian hospitality and a stroke of luck kindled a three-decade-old love affair between a team of French archaeologists and one of the Kingdom’s most important archaeological sites.
Last week marked the 30th anniversary of an excavation by the team that led to the reconstruction of the ancient city of Jerash and the shattering of many assumptions about daily life 2,000 years ago.
According to the archaeologists, their lifelong bond with the Greco-Roman city sprouted from a chance encounter.
Besides the temple of Zeus and the ancient oracles, the article notes the discovery of a “seating chart” for the northern theater.
Perhaps one of the team’s more groundbreaking discoveries was a seating chart of the city’s northern theatre.
The inscription demarcating various tribes’ seats on the tribal council — a local democratic assembly found throughout the empire — leaves approximately one-fourth of the seats empty.
The team believes that the unmarked seats were reserved for a second chamber, making Jerash one of the first and perhaps only cities in antiquity with bicameral legislatures.
The article concludes with the team’s plans for the future.
HT: Joseph Lauer
North theater of Gerasa