Second only to Petra in tourist appeal, the ancient city of Jerash is remarkable for its long chain of human occupation. Here at a well-watered site in the hills of Gilead, remains from Neolithic times have been found, as well as Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Umayyad and others. Jerash golden age, however, arrived with Roman rule. Jerash was a member of the Decapolis, a dynamic commercial league of ten Greco-Roman Cities. Today it is acknowledged as one of the best-preserved province cities of the Roman Empire.  When Emperor Hadrian visited Jerash in 129 AD, it was already thriving. To honor its guest, the city raised a triumphal arch. Today you can walk beneath the imposing south gate and then make your way up the ‘Street of Columns’ – the Roman road running 600 meters north from the Oval Plaza. As you step over the tracks of chariot wheels, still visible in the paving stones, imagine prosperous citizens window-shopping beneath a covered sidewalk