Pella in the north Jordan Valley is one of the
largest and most important archaeological sites in the region. Situated
on the banks of the Wadi Jirm, it contains buildings from the Roman,
Byzantine and Islamic periods (2nd to 14th centuries A.D.), but
archaeologists believe that it stands on top of a much older site, which
has been inhabited since 5,000B.C.
At present there are columns, a few buildings and a small amphitheatre
to be seen, but Pella is still in the process of being excavated and
archaeologists predict that when it is fully restored, it will be at
least as large as Jerash.
Pella is a favorite of archaeologists - it is exceptionally rich in
antiquities some of which are exceedingly old. Besides the excavated
ruins from the Greco-Roman Period Pella offers visitors the opportunity
to see remains of a Chalcolithic settlement from the 4th millennium BC
and the remains of Bronze and Iron Age walled cities.
Tabaqat Fahl is a modern village near ancient Pella where human presence
dates back to over a quarter of a million years. Although the initial
inhabitants were nomadic by the Bronze Age Pella had developed into a
significant walled city. Under Roman rule this was one of the cities of
the Decapolis and roads linked Tabaqat Fahl to Gerasa, Abila and
Scythopolis on the far side of the River Jordan.
Although the Bible makes no reference to Pella it was a significant
trading center and other historical documents from that period do
mention it frequently. Christians began settling in Pella after they
fled the Roman siege of Jerusalem in 70 AD and Christianity was well
established by the middle of the 2nd century.