005- Roman Period
The town of Umm Qais is the site of the ancient city of Gadara, dating as far back as the 7th century BCE. It was inhabited by the Greeks around the 4th century BCE, and was then taken over by the Romans in the 1st century BCE. According to the Bible, it is the location where Jesus healed two men by casting their demons into a herd of pigs. Gadara prospered from its strategic location on trade routes, its fertile fields, and the nearby Hemma hot springs that attracted vacationing Romans. In addition to its commercial success, Gadara developed into a cultural center that attracted philosophers, writers, artists, and poets. Among Gadara’s public structures are two theatres, a vaulted terrace, a bath complex, colonnaded streets, and a church and a basilica added during the Byzantine period. Most of Gadara’s structures were built with black basalt stones, common in the surrounding volcanic area. In 747 CE, a devastating earthquake severely damaged the city and reduced it to a small village.
Overlooking the Yarmouk River and Lake Tiberias 20 km northwest of Irbid. The Hemma hot springs are 10 km north of Umm Qais, near the Yarmouk River.