The town of Umm Al Jimal was likely founded by the Nabateans in the first century BC. It was incorporated into the Roman Empire in the second century AD, but soon after was destroyed in a revolt. During the Byzantine Period, the city prospered as a military outpost and trading center. It's heyday was during the sixth and seventh centuries, before war and a devastating earthquake in 747 caused its abandonment.
Today Umm Al Jimal is an important archaeological site. Most of Jordan's ruins are known for spectacular temples and tombs, but here the more mundane is preserved. The highlight is all of the preserved homes. There are also several churches, a Nabatean temple, and a Roman barracks. Umm Al Jimal gives archaeologists insight into people's daily lives during the Roman, Byzantine, and early Islamic periods.
Getting here can be a little tricky. Buses leave from Abdali and Raghadan bus stations towards the village of Mafraq. From there catch a minibus to Umm Al Jimal. It is easily accessible by car, if you've hired a taxi or rented a car. You can easily spend an entire afternoon here exploring the Umm Al Jimal. It's interesting to see how people lived all those years ago. For this reason it stands out even among Jordan's other great ruins.
Location: About 60km northeast of Amman
Hours: Open daily.
Admission: Free admission.