Jordan has unearthed an ancient tomb that could soon become a top tourism attraction.
The discovery was made in the town of Beit Ras during an excavation project to expand a local waste-water sanitation network.
The tomb, situated in the north of Jordan, includes a cave with two burial chambers; one containing a basalt stone rock-cut tomb decorated with raised etchings of two lion heads and with several human bones enclosed.
The unique tomb is home to several oil frescoes decorating the walls of the chamber portraying human figures, horses and other mythological scenes, some of which have partly eroded but remain intact for the most part giving us great insight into the burial rites of the past. The second chamber contains two more rock-cut tombs without any artifacts.
The frescoes include paintings of grapevines, representing the social and agricultural life prevalent during Classical antiquity, thought to most likely belong in the Hellenistic period or early Roman period. The inscriptions and some artifacts found in the tomb are currently being analysed with the hope that they’ll be able to offer a more accurate timeframe of when the tomb was built and why.
Her Excellency and minister of tourism and antiquities Ms. Lina Annab, following a visit to the site, confirmed that the Department of Antiquities will continue to excavate, expand and prepare the site for future visitors. Her Excellency also confirmed that due to the tomb’s archeological value the site has been closed off to visitors to protect its archeological integrity as tests continue to take place.
Dr. Munther Jamhawi, director general for the Department of Antiquities referenced the city of Beit Ras as one of the ancient Hellenistic/Roman Decapolis League cities, known during that time as Capitolias.
This city featured in Arabic poetry as a unique location that included a theater, dating back to the second century, and the remains of a Byzantine Church whose architectural styles were later used during the Islamic era and specifically during the early Umayyad period.