The extensive ruins of Pella lie near the modern village of Tabaqat Fahl in the northern foothills of the Jordan Valley, 85 kilometers (53 miles), or a 90-minute drive, from Amman. Like Amman and Jerash, this site has been occupied for thousands of years, with the earliest evidence of permanent settlement at Pella going back to the Chalcolithic era (4500-3000 B.C.). People were always attracted to the site by the year-round water of the Wadi firm, the warm climate and the rich agricultural land. In Roman times, the city also flourished because of its strategic location astride a key road that linked the Via Nova with the Palestinian coastal port cities.

One of the mysteries of Pella, which has been excavated by American and Australian teams for nearly 20 years, has been the very few Roman structures that have been revealed. It is thought that when the Byzantine inhabitants of Pella rebuilt it, perhaps after serious earthquake damage, they razed the Roman structures and started anew.

Pella, like Jerash and Amman, was a thriving city in the early Islamic Umayyad era. An extensive Umayyad residential area has been unearthed on the summit of the main north mound. The summit of the south mound, Tell el Husn, is thought to have been the site of the main Roman temple of Pella.


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