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With its rich antiquities, Pella is a favorite among archaeologists. Below the site’s main section lies a perennial spring, which bubbles water into the nearby valley. To visit in the spring months is a particular treat as the hillsides are abundant with anemones, calendula, spring groundsel and asphodel.
Pella was often made into a battleground, perhaps the reason that so little of the Roman Pella still exists. It has also been the victim of several earthquakes, causing a great degree of damage to the site.
The Pella site also shows evidence of an Early Islamic residency and a medieval mosque. It is most likely dating back to 635 after Muslim forces defeated the Byzantine army and moved into Pella, living side by side with its Christian residents.
Dating back to 250,000 BC, hunters have roamed the hills surrounding the site. By 5000 BC, there was a Neolithic farming village at Pella itself. The residents of Pella traded widely throughout the Mediterranean in the Canaanite period, as attested by the discovery of artefacts such as perfume bottles, pottery, and ivory boxes. It is said that Alexander the Great “discovered” Pella, but there is no evidence to confirm this. Part of a Chalcolithic settlement (4th Millennium BC) is situated on the slopes of Jabal Sartaba, east of Tell Husn.
You can see why this Jordan Valley site is an archaeologist’s dream – something for everyone!