Ancient City of Um Quays

Trip Start Feb 10, 2005
Trip End Jan 05, 2006

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Flag of Jordan  ,
Friday, May 27, 2005

Um Qays (Pronounce Kys like Kite) is another ancient Graeco-Roman decapolis city, like Jerash. The decapolis was a group of 10 cities in this region which under the Roman Empire became a confederation for the purposes of trade and mutual protection. Um Qays's ancient name is Gardara. The ruins cover many acres and like Jerash, are impressive.

According to the Bible, Gardara is the place where Jesus cast out the devil from two men into a herd of pigs.

Um Qays is not as well maintained as Jerash or Petra probably because it is so far from the other tourist destinations. Syria and Israel are a stones throw away, literally.

It was nice to walk through the city without many people around. Much of the city is still under sand and there are still active archeological excavations going on. I didn't see Indiana Jones though.

Oh, and the lizards. There were lots of lizards. And I'm not talking about little geckos, I'm talking about big 18 inchers that can scurry faster than I can run. Honestly, I have seen smaller dogs! Fortunately, they dislike humans, and it is pretty hard to get close to one.
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