The Jordanian capital Amman’s Roman Theater has seen an unprecedented surge in visitors with numbers already surpassing pre-coronavirus pandemic levels, the Jordan News Agency (Petra) reported on Sunday.

According to figures released by the country’s Department of Antiquities, the famous archaeological site received around 90,000 tourists in the first half of the year.

The site was built in the 2nd century in Philadelphia, the ancient name for Amman, during the reign of Emperor Antoninus Pius. DoA director general, Fadi Balawi, told Petra that the 6,000-seater theater was a hub of activity with sword fighting and performances with wild animals.

He said that before shows began, an offering was made to Dionysus, the god of festivity and theater, on the altar in the center of the orchestra area.

The department started restoration work on the theater in 1957 to make it an entertainment and events site, and two museums now showcase the country’s cultural heritage.

The Museum of Popular Life houses displays focussed on the people of Jordan down the ages including the tools and furniture they used, while the Folk Museum of Jewelry and Clothing exhibits traditional items from Jordanian and Palestinian cities.