The Roman amphitheater is the largest stage in Jordan. It is located in the east part of the capital city, Amman, more specifically at the side of Al Jowfa mountain on one of the hills facing Amman Citadel. Its regarded as one of the most important tourist attractions in Jordan.
The amphitheater dates back to the second century AD. The Greek text inscribed on one of the columns indicates that it was built to honor the Emperor Antonius Beyos who visited Amman in the year 130 AD.
The amphitheater architecture:
The amphitheater was built facing north to limit the sun’s effect on the spectators. It’s divided into three horizontal parts. Side entrances one of which leads to the choir and another to the stage. Some rooms are built behind these entrances which were used by artists to change clothes and to prepare for appearance in front of the audience.
Facing the platform where the artists are presenting, there is a spot in the middle of the theater where spectators can clearly hear the voice coming from it in all the seating areas. The theater can seat 6,000 spectators and is divided into 44 rows in three main groups. The first group of rows was held for the VIPs and people of the high society. The second and third groups were for common people.
The original platform was around three stories high, higher than the columns in the forum arena. There was a small temple at the top of the theater, carved in the rocks, holding statues of the Roman gods. Two small museums are located on each of the theater sides, The Folk Live Museum and the Falk Clothes Museum. The first shows the evolution of Jordanians’ lives and their use of tools and furniture in the last century especially the rural lives and the lives of Bedouins. The second museum shows the clothes fashion traditionally wore by Jordanians and Palestinians as well as jewelry and artifacts used by women.
Activities to do in the Roman Amphitheater:
· Walk around the Hashimit plaza and the theater, drink tea or coffee from the local vendors, and take memorable photos in several spots with different backgrounds. You can also enjoy the events held there regularly.
· Visit the two museums at the site. One has artifacts from the Jordanian folklife represented by the traditional clothes of each region, and the other is the folklife museum which shows the traditional way of life in the country.
· Visit the Jordanian Archaeological Museum which presents numerous artifacts categorized according to their historical sequence.
· Go for a shopping tour to purchase hand made artifacts and souvenirs as there are many vendors around the Roman Amphitheater.
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