Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Crossing over – and a visit to Jerash

IMG_7534 Today was largely spent crossing from Israel into Jordan.  For reasons best known to our local tour guide, instead of crossing at the Allenby Bridge we drove north to Bet Shean, crossed the Jordan riverIMG_7530and went through a very lengthy and trying transition from Israel to Jordan during which we had to show our passports on no fewer than 4 occasions, then drove south again to Jerash where we had lunch before exploring the excavated ruins.




I’m unsure of the exact function of these little alcoves in the Roman theatre, but a whisper into one will be heard quite clearly in another alcove across the way. Day 13 - Jerash and Amman2  Here M and A2 demonstrate just how this works. Is the origin of the stage whisper, I wonder?IMG_7605 The mighty Temple of Artemis.IMG_7663 Our expert shoppers show how canny Romans would have bagged a bargain in this multi-level store on the Cardo, or main street of the city.IMG_7678 IMG_7608 IMG_7674

One of the main reasons why the huge columns have withstood earthquakes over the centuries is because they have been made with the ability to wobble.  Interlocking stone at the core fits the sections together, and when a quake strikes they simply sway. 

Our resident demonstrator, M, shows how this works as he pushes on a huge column.  IMG_7683 A metal key inserted in the crevice at the base moves up and down with every sway of the column.IMG_7684

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