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From Antiquity To The Present

Amman is the capital of Jordan and home to over four million people. It has been continuously inhabited since the Neolithic period, with the original site known as Ain Ghazal. The name Amman comes from the 13th century Ammonites who controlled the city, though it was also known as Philadelphia for a time, after Ptolemy Philidelphius II, the Macedonian ruler of Egypt occupied the city in the years following the Hellenistic conquest of most of Asia by Alexander the Great. The city changed hands a few times until the Romans took over most of the Levant in 63 AD. The city would once again be called Amman after the Islamic conquest of the city in the 600s.

Controlled for a time by the Crusader kingdoms, the city largely remained in the hands of the various caliphates before its annexation by the Ottoman Empire. During World War I and the Arab Revolt, several Middle Eastern territories fought to split from the Ottomans. Once the empire collapsed, the Hashemite King Abdullah I founded the Emirate of Transjordan, which became the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in 1950. Amman was designated its capital.

With such a storied history, it is no wonder that Amman has many treasures within its walls. Visitors should see the Amman Citadel, which has ruins from all of the different periods of history that Amman has experienced. Visitors can also see the Roman Theater, which has existed since the time of Antonius Pius. Also, for history of a less ancient variety, visitors can check out the Royal Automobile Museum and marvel at the collections of the Hashemite Monarchs.

Amman has plenty of other things to do as well. Visitors can take cooking classes and learn how to make some of the delicious dishes that the region is famous for. Also, like many Middle Eastern cities there are plenty of spice shops selling the finest and most fragrant spices from around the world. Visitors should also consider trying the delicious sugar cane juice, or relaxing with several cups of Arabic coffee. Getting around is not terribly difficult either, with a decent bus line, and plenty of metered taxis.