From the moment you step into the parking lot in Ras Al Ayn, a sense of unwavering intrigue unfolds. The history & culture story begins there with large artifacts greeting you, including a train compartment from the Ottoman Era! As you walk towards the interior campus, a quaint little fountain centers a tranquil outdoor square where the souvenir store, the book shop and café/restaurant are set to open, and to the left the entrance to The Jordan Museum.
Despite the fact that The Jordan Museum is still under going further development for its official opening, it was actually brought into fruition back in 2002 and to life on the ground in 2005. Since then, its board of Trustees, led by her Majesty Queen Rania- Al-Abdullah and her Royal Highness Princess Sumaya Bint El-Hassan, have managed to form alliances with international and local research institutions, and collaborate with various universities including the Royal Ontario Museum, the Louvre Museum and the Smithsonian institution.
The enriching experience is presented to all in a chronological series of exhibition spaces, starting from the Old Stone Age (1,500,00 – 3600 BC) building towards Modern Jordan (1917-2014) and projecting into the future through the Palaeothilic Era, the Neolithic Era, the Bronze Age, the Iron Age, the Classical and Late Antique Periods and the Islamic Periods. Each section is explored thematically, where the nine major themes displayed are the environment, food production and processing, visual art and architecture, cultural exchange and trade, politics and the military, communication and writing, industry, religions, and daily domestic life in Jordan. What is more, there are several state of the art interactive spaces distributed among some galleries that allow you a ‘hands-on’ learning experience.
Don’t Forget Children
A visit to The Jordan Museum isn’t restricted to adults. Children can enjoy their time by spending it in ‘Makany’, which is a child-specific area that enables the kids to educate themselves by partaking in numerous creative projects and performing arts activities instigated by their visit.
The Highlight Exhibition
Of the most notable exhibitions that you should truly not miss is the controversial Dead Sea Scrolls section, which features scroll artifacts from the Qumran site as well as the only Copper scroll, all written in Hebrew Mishnaic dialect. Secondly, the ‘Writing Matter of Communication’ gallery is one where attention to detail is of utmost importance. Plenty of knowledge can be gained from the beautiful mural displaying the history behind the alphabets, and various relics will teach all there is to know about the progress of language in Jordan through the ages. Furthermore, you can get your own name printed in Aramien, Nabataean and Grecian!
The Jordan Museum is definitely building up to become the “comprehensive national centre for learning and knowledge” it sets out to be, and with it’s upcoming full opening, it will definitely leave any and all of its visitors connected with the appealing history and culture of our beloved Jordan.
Name of the Place: The Jordan Museum
Type of Museum: History and Cultural
Date opened: Soft opening
Opening Hours: Saturday, Sunday & Monday, 10 AM – 2 PM
Entrance Fees: Free
For: Every person claiming they love this country’s culture & history and yet aren’t willing to read about it. Plus, morning people!
After the Museum…
In all honesty, getting your friends to join you for a museum visit might be a slight difficult task. To help you do so, try luring them by promising any of the following AFTER activities.
BROPPING! If you manage to get them to the museum at 10, then you’ll have plenty of time to grab brunch followed by the best deals & steals shopping anywhere in the downtown region! Get it? BROPPING.
LUNCH! The museum closes at 2, so whenever you do get them to the museum you can always promise a lunch date after, with Abdoun and the downtown area nearby, your options are vast.