Promoting Jordan Christian, Baptist’s Travel Destination where Jordan is a modern country with an ancient culture, a land of which visitors can walk through the valleys, hills and plains whose names have become part of human history by virtue of the simple deeds and profound messages of prophets who walked the land and crossed its rivers during their lives.
Many of the sites where they are said to have performed miracles or reached out to ordinary people have been identified, excavated and protected, and are now more easily accessible to visitors.
Excavations of the earliest settlement from the days of Christ and John the Baptist have revealed at least three plastered baptism pools, a system of water pipes and channels to carry water to and from the site, and associated domestic and other structures. Ancient writers and pilgrims called the fresh spring at the site of Elijah's Hill both John the Baptist's Spring and Elijah's Spring.
The later fifth to sixth century settlement from the Byzantine era was a substantial walled monastery, comprising plastered pools, water cisterns, and at least three churches and other buildings with plain white and colored mosaic floors, some with crosses in the mosaics. One church mosaic inscription mentions Rotorius as the `head of the monastery`.
The Byzantine writers Jerome and Eusebius mentioned `Bethabara beyond the Jordan` in the fourth century as a pilgrimage destination where people went to be baptised. Helena, the mother of Emperor Constantine, is to have crossed the Jordan River and visited Elijah's Hill and the cave where John the Baptist lived, and built a church there to commemorate him. Stone and mud structures on the summit of Elijah's Hill and on the adjacent hills to the south and east date from the mid-to-late Ottoman period (16th-18th centuries), when Greek Orthodox monks established a monastery at the site comprising different structures for worship, their residence and accommodation for visiting pilgrims.
The 20 ancient sites identified from the Jordan River to Wadi Kharar and eastwards to Wadi Gharabah formed stations along the pilgrims' route from Jerusalem to the Jordan River and finally to Mount Nebo where Moses died and was buried after viewing the promised land.
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