The Archaeological Treasure of the Middle East...
Jordan is a small Middle Eastern country, which is ruled by King Hussein as a constitutional monarchy. The country streches on different geographic areas with special features. There is the desert, fertile areas near Irbid, steep valleys near Wadi al- Mujib high mountains like al-Sharah mountains in the south and some areas, like the area surrounding the Dead Sea, that are 400 meters below sea level.
The name of 'Jordan' comes from the Arabic word 'Al Urdun'. It is an ancient expression for the Jordan River and the surrounding territory. The river flows from Mount Hermon in the north near to the Syrian border, to the Dead Sea on the south.
The natural resources of Jordan include pasture areas, the Badia or the desert, the archaeological sites in Jerash and Petra,and the raw material of phosphate and potash in al- Hasa and the Dead Sea areas.
Archaeological sites indicate that Jordan was the living place of the early humans for the past 100 thousand years. The findings in Tuleilat al-Ghsul, near the Damia Bridge, Natuf Caves,
near al-Karmel Mountain and Ein Ghazal, north of Amman are outstanding proof that ancient man lived in this area. The city,as a social center started in Wadi al- Urdun, in Jericho on the west bank of the River Jordan and in al-Beed in the south of Jordan. These two cities are the first two cities in the ancient world.
Jordan has borders to Israel on the west, Syria on the north, Iraq on the east and Saudi Arabia on the south and south east directions. It has access to the Red Sea from the port city of Al Aqaba. A large percentage of the land is mainly desert. The land is divided by the wadis (torrent bed) into four districts, that can be identified easily with the Old Testament kingdoms: Kerak from Wadi Hasa to Wadi Mujib, Ma'an from Wadi Hasa to the Gulf of Aqaba, Balqa between Mujib and Zarqa, Ajlun between Wadi Zarqa and the Yarmouk river.
In this young and, at the same time, ancient country there are many opportunities and challenges facing the people. The traditional Arab-Bedouin life style co-exists with modern, western style ideals and institutions in Jordan. As an internationally respected politician, King Hussein has led his country from many serious conflicts in the Middle East successfully. The majority of the population is Muslim. The remaining minority is mainly Christian and their relations with the fellow Muslims have traditionally been very well.