Stone shaping

Excavation, restoration and conservation are long-term efforts at the site of Jerash (biblical Gerasa of the Decapolis) in Jordan. Here, a workman gives shape to a limestone block destined to become part of a bridge that spans the watercourse between the residential and the cultural/administrative districts. Facing stone by hand requires an athlete's strength and a craftsman's eye.

The aggressive program of cultural preservation has made Jerash the second most visited site in all of Jordan (behind Petra). It is without peer as an example of a Roman city in the East.

For more on the uniquenesses of the Roman East, see Fergus Millar, The Roman Near East: 31 BC-AD 337 (Harvard, 1995) or Warwick Ball, Rome in the East: The Transformation of an Empire (Routledge, 2000).