The territory constituting modern Jordan was the site of some of
the earliest settlements and political entities known to historians.
The Ammonites and the kingdoms of Edom, Gilead, and Moab, situated
east of the Jordan River, are referred to repeatedly in the Bible.
These kingdoms were successively conquered by, or made tributary
to, the Egyptians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, and Romans.
Jordan was wrested from the Byzantine Empire by the Arabs between
633 and 636 and has since remained an Arab-Islamic country. During
the Crusades parts of Jordan were governed by Christians. From 1517
until 1918 Jordan was ruled by the Ottomans (see Ottoman Empire).