Amman is the capital city of Jordan, its economic, political and cultural centre. It is the 5th largest and the 4th most visited city in the Arab world. The earliest evidence of settlement in Amman was discovered in the outskirts of the city in 1974, the so called neolithic site of ‘Ain Ghazal. By 1982, when the excavations started, the remains that was found provided a wealth of information about the region. It was established that at that time the site was a typical aceramic Neolithic village with an approximate area of 15 hectares and a population of about 3000 people. Their houses were rectangular mud-bricked buildings made up of lime plaster. In 1983 archeologists found a set of 32 small human statues, made with white plaster, with painted clothes, hair, and some ornaments. 15 of them full figures, another 15 busts, and two fragmentary heads, 3 of the busts were two-headed. All of them considered to be among the oldest human statues ever found, and today you can see them in the Jordan Museum in Amman.
In the 13th century BC Amman was the capital of the Ammonites, and became known as Ammon. Its strategic location, along the King’s Highway, the ancient trade route connecting Egypt with Mesopotamia, Syria and Anatolia gave the Ammonites considerable revenue. Along with a productive agricultural sector, Ammon provided several natural resources to the region, including sandstone and limestone. There are several Ammonite ruins across Amman exist, such as Qasr Al-Abd, Rujm Al-Malfouf and some parts of the Amman Citadel. Later the city was conquered by the Assyrian Empire, followed by the Persian Empire. During the Greek period, after Ptolemy II Philadelphus, the Macedonian ruler of Egypt, occupied and rebuilt the city, he renamed Ammon to Philadelphia. During the Roman rule the city became a key point along a road Ailah – Damascus, that was built by Emperor Trajan in 106 AD. This provided a strong economic boost for the city in a short period of time. Several ruins left in Amman after the Romans exist till today, such as the Temple of Hercules at the Amman Citadel, the Roman Theatre, the Odeon, and the Nymphaeum.
During the Islamic period, started from the 630s, when the army of Rashidun Caliphate conquered the region from the Byzantines, the name of the city was changed to Amman.Under the Umayyad caliphs who began their rule in 661 AD, was built a large palace on the Amman Citadel hill, known today as the Umayyad Palace. Three years after the strong earthquake in 747, which destroyed Amman, the Umayyads were overthrown by the Abbasids. During the Mamluk era, late 13th – early 16th centuries, the region of Amman was a part of Wilayat Balqa, the southernmost district of Damascus Province. The Ottoman Empire annexed the region of Amman in 1516. The city’s demographics changed dramatically after the Ottoman government’s decided to construct the Hejaz Railway, which linked Damascus and Medina, and facilitated the annual Hajj pilgrimage and trade. Because of its location along the railway, Amman was transformed from a small village into a major commercial hub in the region. In 1918 was established the British Mandate. In 1921, the Hashemite emir and later king Abdullah I designated Amman to be the capital of the newly created state, the Emirate of Transjordan, which later became the Hashemite of Jordan.
Modern Amman is a developed city with a population of more than 4 million people. A large selection of world-famous luxury hotels, huge shopping malls, hundreds of restaurants and cafes with delicious local cousins and many popular western restaurants and fast-food outlets. The city is also rich in its archaeological sites and museums. The largest museum in Jordan is The Jordan Museum in Amman, which contains the most valuable archaeological findings in the country, including some of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Neolithic limestone statues of ‘Ain Ghazal.. Other museums include the Prophet Mohammad Museum, the Royal Automobile Museum, Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts, The Children’s Museum Jordan.. Amman has a very well developed transportation system, the main airport is Queen Alia International Airport, situated about 30 km south of the city. The city has frequent bus connections to other cities in Jordan, internal transport is served by a number of bus routes, yet taxis are the most common way to get around in Amman due their high availability and inexpensiveness. The location of Amman is very convenient, it will only take you 45 min drive to get to Jerash, 1 hour to the Dead Sea and 3 hours to Petra. To get from Amman to Aqaba will take about 4 hours by taxi or 55 minutes by flight. If you’re planning to visit Amman, contact travel agency Jordan Journey, we offer popular tour packages and custom tours in Jordan along with anything else you might need during you trip to Jordan- high quality and dedicated service guaranteed.