Jerash: The landscape, urban space, and architecture

Ma'in Kamal Haddad, Florida International University


The peculiarities of Roman architecture, town planning, and landscape architecture are visible in many of the empire's remaining cities. However, evaluation of the landscapes; and analysis of the urban fabric, spatial compositions, and the concepts and characteristics of its open spaces are missing for Jerash (Gerasa in antiquity) in Jordan. Those missing elements will be discussed in this work, as an example of an urban arrangement that survived through different civilizations in history. To address the characteristics of the exterior spaces in Jerash, a study of the major concepts of planning in Classical Antiquity will be conducted, followed by a comparative analysis of the quality of space and architectural composition in Jerash. Through intensive investigation of data available for the area under study, the historical method used in this paper illustrates the uniqueness of the site's urban morphology and architectural disposition. An analysis will be performed to compare the design composition of the landscape, urban fabric, and open space of Jerash as a provincial Roman city with its existing excavated remains. Such an analysis will provide new information about the roles these factors and their relationships played in determining the design layout of the city. Information, such as the relationship between void and solid, space shaping, the ground and ceiling, the composition of city elements, the ancient landscapes, and the relationship between the land and architecture, will be acquired. A computer simulation for a portion of the city will be developed to enable researchers, students and citizens interested in Jordan's past to visualize more clearly what the city looked like in its prime. Such a simulation could result in the revival of the old city of Jerash and help promote its tourism.

Subject Area

Architecture|Archaeology|Middle Eastern history

Recommended Citation

Haddad, Ma'in Kamal, "Jerash: The landscape, urban space, and architecture" (1995). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI1375931.