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Umm Qais aqueduct opens as preservation project concludes

By JT - Dec 18,2018 - Last updated at Dec 19,2018

A project, which began in 2015, to better preserve the Roman Aqueduct of Gadara in Umm Qais concluded with a ceremony on Tuesday. It is expected to boost tourism to the Umm Qais archaeological site seen in this undated photo (Photo courtesy of the Jordan Tourism Board website)

AMMAN — A project to better preserve the Roman Aqueduct of Gadara in Umm Qais recently concluded, according to a statement sent from the US embassy in Jordan. 

The project was funded by the US Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP), conducted in cooperation with archaeology and anthropology faculty members from Yarmouk University, the statement added. The two organisations held a ceremony to open the tunnel on Tuesday.  

The Roman aqueduct in Umm Qais is the largest subterranean one in the world, stretching 170km from Jordan to Syria — more than nine times the length of the second longest subterranean aqueduct in Italy, according to the statement.

Work under the $160,000 AFCP grant had been ongoing since 2015. The Department of Conservation and Management of Cultural Resources at Yarmouk University rehabilitated the aqueduct in northern Jordan.

“The United States is proud to stand as a partner in preserving and protecting Jordan’s heritage sites,” said US Chargé d’Affaires Jim Barnhart. “Tourism remains one of the foundations of Jordan’s economy and the United States is committed to supporting its continued growth.”

The fund has provided over $2 million in grants to fund the preservation of cultural heritage in Jordan since 2001, the statement said. 

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