Archaeology Odyssey, March/April 2002
11 High above the sprawling modern city of Amman, Jordan, sits Jebel al-Qal’a—the site of the ancient, and often sacred, Citadel of Bronze Age, Iron Age, Greco-Roman, Byzantine and early Islamic civilizations.
Rabbath Ammon it was called in ancient times, a place-name we might translate as the Ammonite Heights. During the Iron Age, it was the capital of the kingdom of Ammon, rival of the biblical Israelites. The remains of the ancient Ammonite acropolis are perched atop a rocky outcrop overlooking the bustling capital of modern […]
In the reign of Ptolemy II Philadelphus (283–246 B.C.), Rabbath Ammon was renamed Philadelphia. Despite the name change, the city’s inhabitants remained largely Semitic and probably were never extensively Hellenized. When Arab Muslims conquered the region of present-day Jordan in 634, they called the city by the name local peoples used: Amman, the modern […]
In this interview with Archaeology Odyssey editor Hershel Shanks, John Malcolm Russell of the Massachusetts College of Art—an expert on the looting of Iraq and author of The Final Sack of Nineveh: The Discovery, Documentation and Destruction of King Sennacherib’s Throne Room at Nineveh, Iraq (Yale, 1998)—describes the damage suffered at the Assyrian King […]
A strange, grim, menacing creature lurks on one of the ancient Greek vases in the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. The scene painted on this vase—a Corinthian black-figure krater dating to between 560 and 540 B.C.—is known to art historians as the oldest illustration of the ancient legend of the Monster of […]