005- Roman Period
The Artemis Temple was built in 150 CE in dedication to Artemis, the goddess of the hunt and the wild, and patron of Jerash. The temple is in a vast courtyard (sacred precinct) originally surrounded by a colonnade. An altar in front of the temple, which now stands in ruin, was the place for public worship. The temple itself likely housed a statue of Artemis. The temple’s staircase leads to a high portico with tall Corinthian columns and an inner chamber, now exposed. Despite their massive size, the columns sway in the wind, as demonstrated by the movement of a long object, like a knife, inserted between a column and its base. Some missing temple elements suggest that it was never finished in Roman times. A new discovery at the temple might prove to be the world’s oldest church, dating from the 2nd century CE.
On a hill in the heart of the walled city. Reached from the main street (cardo) through the propylaeum.