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Saturday 13th April
Jordan Facts
In ancient times "Jordan" formed part of the area known as the Fertile Crescent.

Plaster statues found near Amman at the Ain Ghazal site are among the most interesting Neolithic discoveries in the Middle East. The site is thought to have been first inhabited over 9,000 years ago.

In 2008 it was suggested that Khirbat en-Nahas (ruins of copper) in southern Jordan could be the site of King Solomon's Mines. New information has dated the site to around the ninth and tenth centuries BC.

Copper mining was an important activity in Jordan around 5,000 years ago.

Ancient kingdoms in the region were Ammon, Edom and Moab.

Abraham (Ibrahim) and his family were nomads and would have spent time in the region now known as Jordan.

Abraham's first son (with Hagar, his wife's servant) was Ishmael who is said to be the founder of the Arab nation. His second son (with Sarah, his wife) was Isaac, the father of Jacob. Jacob was also known as Israel.

It is thought that Moses is buried on Mount Nebo.

Petra, the capital of the Nabataean Arabs, is a city carved into rock two thousand years ago.

Petra, known as the rose red city, remained unknown to Europeans until the nineteenth century.

Other ancient cities in Jordan include Amman, Jerash and Pella.

The Kings' Highway in Jordan runs from Amman to Aqaba. Petra and a number of castles are along the route.

Herod the Great had a palace at Mukawir, south of Madaba. It is said that John the Baptist was imprisoned at Mukawir.

As part of the Roman Empire, the city of Amman was known as Philadelphia. The city was named after the pharaoh Ptolemy Philadelphus.

The region was absorbed into the Ottoman Arab territory from the early sixteenth century.

Colonel T.E. Lawrence, a British soldier, known as Lawrence of Arabia, helped defeat the Turks in the 1914-1918 war. His account of the campaign is written in his book, the Seven Pillars of Wisdom.

The country was administrated by Great Britain under the League of Nations' Mandates System. "Transjordan" was part of the British Mandate for Palestine until 1946.

In 1946 Emir Abdullah of the Emirate of Transjordan was proclaimed king and the official name of the country became the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

Hashem was the name of King Abdullah's ancestor who was the great-grandfather of the Prophet Muhammad.

King Abdullah I of Jordan was assassinated in Jerusalem in 1951.

King Hussein (1935-1999) ruled Jordan for forty-seven years.

The brother of the late King Hussein, Prince El Hassan bin Talal, founded the Islamic Scientific Academy.

King Abdallah II succeeded his father King Hussein.

King Abdallah is the son of King Hussein and his second wife, Princess Muna (Antoinette Gardiner from Britain).

Jordan is a member of the Arab League, established in 1945.

In November 2005 sixty people, mostly Jordanians, were killed in suicide bombings at three international hotels in Amman.

At the beginning 2011, with unrest in Tunisia and Egypt, several thousand Jordanians took part in demonstrations in cities throughout Jordan.

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