With a history dating back 10,000 years, Amman is one of the oldest continually occupied cities in the world -- and because of refugee displacement, it’s one of the fastest-growing cities in today’s Middle East. Remains of Amman’s ancient Neolithic cultures are found in the excellent Jordan Archaeological Museum located on the Citadel Hill, where you’ll also find the Roman Temple of Hercules. Nearby, explore the traditional souks and markets of Al-Balad, the ancient city center. But Amman is not just history: As the Arab Middle East’s most westernized city, it offers notable cuisine, nightlife, music and hospitality, which you’ll share with friendly crowds of Jordanians and expatriates from around the world.
You can hardly turn around in Jordan without encountering evidence of its spectacularly rich history. In the desert and mountain regions of this Middle Eastern country you can see the sites of Stone Age villages, or visit ruins built by ancient peoples such as Edomites, Moabites, Amorites, Ammonites, Greeks, and Romans. In fact, Jerash, one of the best preserved Roman cities in the world, is in Jordan. Jordan's modern-day capital, Amman, takes its name from the Ammonites whose kingdom was once based there.
Another famous site, Petra, is the unforgettable 2000-year-old capital of the Nabataeans, who carved an entire city out of pink sandstone cliffs in South Jordan. Hundreds of thousands of people visit Petra every year to wander among its tombs, theatres, gates and paved streets.
The Dead Sea, at 1,312 feet below sea level the lowest point on earth, lies in the Jordan Valley. Along with the fertile coastal plains beside the Mediterranean Sea and two rugged ranges of desert mountains, the valley is one of Jordan's distinguishing geographical features.