People lived in the Gilead Mountains of Northern Jordan about 6,500 years during the Neolithic Period. Ancient Gerasa was founded by the Greeks in 331 BC. In 63 BC, the Hellenistic town nicknamed “Antioch on the Golden River” was conquered by Pompey the Great. It then became part of Rome’s Decapolis League of ten major cities. Later it was part of the Byzantine Empire. Its decline began in 614 AD when the Persians invaded followed by the Muslims in 635. A devastating blow came during a 749 AD earthquake. Although the Crusaders and then the Ottomans later occupied Jerash, most of it lay beneath the sand until it was rediscovered during the 1920s. This photo shows parts of the Temple of Zeus in the foreground, the Oval Plaza in the middle and the modern city in the background.