West Souk and Military Barracks

2nd cent. - end 3th cent. AD, 4th cent. - 7th cent. AD
This area, at the foot of the Temple of Zeus and on the west side of the Gerasa-Philadelphia road, would have been busy with travellers into and out of the city. Thus it was a great commercial location, and in the 2nd century AD at least four shops were set up here. Partly dug out of the rock, the shops were occupied by woodworking craftsmen and many of their tools have been found here. The colonnade in front of the shop supported two small (100 meters squared) but wealthy dwellings above. This entire set of buildings was destroyed in the late 3rd century by a fire set by looters raiding the city.

Following the raid, construction began to fortify the city. It was at this time that the city walls were built. The ruins of the West Souk lay right beside the South Gate, and so these were levelled and the area was used to build a small army barracks around a central courtyard. These housed the guards protecting access to the fortifications, which were built at the same time in the early 4th century. After being altered several times, the barracks were probably abandoned in the 7th century.
(From information on site)

In the background, the Sanctuary of Zeus Olympios

© Photo: Haupt & Binder

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