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Philadelphia (Amman, Jordan)

Visitors to Jordan and the Decapolis cities usually start their trip in Amman, Jordan's modern capital and the ancient Rabbath-Ammon, capital city of the Ammonite Kingdom. Traces of the Iron Age city wall still ring Citadel Hill (in Arabic, Al Qal'a) in downtown Amman - the same spot the Greeks, Romans and Umayyad Muslims used for their monumental buildings during the next 1,000 years. But Amman has a much older history. At 'Ain Ghazal, in north Amman, recent excavations by an American team have uncovered a Stone Age (Neolithic era) village from around 6000 B.C., and traces of an Early Bronze Age village from around 3000 B.C.

The Greco-Roman city at Amman, known as Philadelphia, was founded by the Hellenistic Ptolemies, and named after the ruler of Egypt Ptolemy Philadelphos (285-246 B.C.). It became a member city of the Decapolis, and its territory marked the southern limits of the region of the Decapolis. The ruins of the Roman city include the great 5,000-seat theater and its adjacent odeon (a small, covered theater) in downtown Amman; parts of the forum, the nymphaeum (public fountain dedicated to the Nymphs) and the colonnaded main street of the city; the temple of Hercules on the summit of Citadel Hill; and a large mausoleum some five kilometers east of the modern Sports City towards Zerqa, known as Qasr Nuweijis. In the first century of the Islamic era, Amman continued to serve as a capital city and seat of the local Umayyad governor. Excavations on Citadel Hill, near the archeological museum and Roman ruins, have revealed a large Umayyad complex that includes a governor's palace, residential areas, public buildings and a fortification wall - all built over earlier Roman structures.

Philadelphia / Philadelphia Neocaesarea (Alasehir, Turkey)

The ancient city of Philadelphia in Lydia was founded by Eumenes II of Pergamon honoring his brother Attalus II Philadephos. It is well known as being one of the seven churches of Asia in the Book of Revelation. On Claudian coins it is titled Philadelphia Neocaesarea.