Roman Nymphaeum of ancient Gadara (now Umm Qais, Jordan). Built in second half of the 2nd Century CE when the city was rapidly expanding. Archaeologists in 1998 found a marble block nearby with an inscription that says the Nymphaeum was donated to the city by Aurelios Diophantes an “astynomos” (a city magestrate responsible for public buildings).
The Nymphaeum was both a public water fountain (the curved niches in the front wall had water spouts) and a shrine to the worship of the water nymphs, the greco-roman goddesses of water, lakes and rivers. In such a warm and dry climate as Jordan, the goddesses of water and the water supply were clearly hugely significant as can be seen by the size, elaborate decoration of marble and prominent location at the heart of the city on the decumanus maximus opposite the monumental steps to the Roman terrace.
Photogrammetry model produced from drone imaging and photography by our local volunteers for the Living Museum of Umm Qais Project (www.UmmQaisHeritage.com)