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Jordan Um Quais 2013 1251.jpg
05-Jun-2013 Dick Osseman

Jordan Um Quais 2013 1251.jpg

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Streets in Gadara (notice on site) : From the Hellenic hilltop settlement built in the second century BC the town of Gadara expanded steadily during the Roman period. This expansion was in westerly direction along an east-west oriented inter-regional road axis as the adjoining plateau here provided sufficient space for settlement. Unlike many other towns of the Roman Empire, which were built on a regular grid of streets like a chess board, the layout of Gadara was structured by this axis, the length of which extended to 1,5 km. From the first century onwards this main road formed the backbone of Gadara’s urban development. A row of four gate-buildings along this axis marks in chronological order the westward expansion from the first to late third or early fourth century AD. Paved with basalt slabs, the east-west axis was up to 6,5 m. wide, in the Roman period the road was in some sections lined with colonnades in front of which were pavements. Behind the colonnades were the so-called tabernae which presumably served as traders’ stalls in this period. Various public buildings such as the Nymphaeum, the podium monument and the Propylon (an entrance building in front of a sanctuary) are situated along the road. These buildings accentuate the different urban sections along the road and serve as architectural highlights. Today many column sections stand or lie on either side or even on the road having been re-used by later generations. Presumably even in Byzantine times new buildings were constructed from the material along and partly on the road. Of any crossroads which may have crossed this axis or branched off the main road to the South, only a narrow street in the west part of the town close to the five-aisled basilica can be seen today.

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