From the Citadel in the hills, you can see downtown Amman with its Roman amphitheatre. Image Credit: Supplied picture

Dubai: A Roman archaeological site was recently uncovered in Downtown Amman during excavation works to install a water drainage system, local media reported.

Yazid Alayyan, Director of the Department of Antiquities, on Friday visited Downtown Amman, where the Roman-era archaeological remains were discovered amid the Greater Amman Municipality’s ongoing works.

The site, opposite the Roman Amphitheatre, was found while authorities were installing a system to control floods which have caused damage to shops and architectural sites in the downtown area.

Among the remains found were second-century tiled Roman baths with heated cellars, and a crematorium.

The sites were, from 1964 to 1971, completely submerged by the ‘Amman River,’ which was a body of water spanning from Ras Al Ain to Ain Ghazal, feeding into the Zarqa River.

Running parallel to Downtown Amman, the river, which usually flooded surrounding areas during winter months, was completely covered and paved over as Amman grew.

According to Alayyan, the current projects will not disturb the archaeological site, and the Antiquities Department is following up on all infrastructure projects throughout the Kingdom to ensure they, too, will not detract from the integrity of other archaeological sites.

He said the department is keen to preserve archaeological relics while meeting the needs of the current infrastructure goals.