By Antoni A. Ostrasz (1929-1996) with contributions by Ina Kehrberg-Ostrasz
The Hippodrome of Gerasa: A Provincial Roman Circus publishes the unique draft manuscript by the late architect and restorer Antoni Ostrasz, the study of Roman circuses and the complex fieldwork for the restoration of the Jarash Hippodrome, a work in progress abruptly ended both in writing and in the field by his untimely death in October 1996. The manuscript is presented as it is in order to retain the authenticity of his work. It is, therefore, an unusual publication providing the researcher as well as restorer of ancient monuments with unparalleled insights of architectural studies for anastyloses. Compendia A and B have been added to supplement the incomplete segments of the manuscript with regard to his studies as well as archaeological data. This concerns the excavation and preparation for the restorations and the archaeological history or stratigraphic history of the site from the foundations to primary use as a circus to subsequent occupancies of the circus complex. The study of the architectural and archaeological remains at the hippodrome encapsulates the sequence of the urban history of the town from its early beginnings to Roman Gerasa and Byzantine and Islamic Jarash, including vestiges of the seventh century plague and still visible earthquake destructions, as well as Ottoman settlements.
About the Authors
Antoni Adam Ostrasz M.Eng PhD (Warsaw 1958, 1967) began his overseas work as research architect with the Polish Archaeological Centre in Cairo from 1961-1966 before joining expeditions to Alexandria, Palmyra and Nea Paphos. He was commissioned by the Syrian Authorities at Palmyra to prepare the restorations of several monuments, recently destroyed. He continued his architectural studies at Fustat and later joined the ‘Jarash Archaeological Project’ where he studied and restored the Umayyad House and the Church of Bishop Marianos. In 1984, the Dept of Antiquities appointed him as permanent director for the restoration project of the Hippodrome at Jarash.
Ina Kehrberg-Ostrasz graduated in Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology at the University of Sydney where she completed her postgraduate thesis on Cypriot ceramics. She began excavating in Jordan with the University of Sydney in 1975, followed by several international and long-term archaeological projects at Jarash and other Decapolis cities in Jordan. She became Hon. Research Fellow at the University of Sydney, and was made Hon. Lecturer at ANU/Canberra in 2019 where she offers Masterclasses in the study of ceramics and other artefacts.
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