Hippodrome in Jerash.

© vvoe/Shutterstock



Built sometime between the 1st and 3rd centuries AD, this ancient sports field (244m by 50m) was once surrounded by seating for up to 15,000 spectators, 30 times the current capacity, and hosted mainly athletics competitions and chariot races. Recent excavations have unearthed the remains of stables and pottery workshops, plus indications that the site was used for polo by invading Sassanians from Persia during the early 7th century.

In recent years the hippodrome has hosted chariot races and reconstructions of Roman military manoeuvres, but falling tourist numbers since the Arab Spring have put these on ice for now.

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