Located in the heart of the Middle East, this small desert nation is home to some of the world's oldest archaeological sites. Jordan became a democratic monarchy after gaining its independence from Great Britain in 1946. Jordan is bordered by Israel, Syria, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia. Like its neighbors, Jordan’s landscape is covered with desert to the east and mountains to the north and south.

Population: 5.5 million
Size: 34,444 square miles (about the size of Indiana)
Capital and largest city:Amman
Geography: arid hills, mountains, desert
Language: Arabic, some English
Religion:more than 90 percent Muslim, some Christians

Image credits: courtesy of AMNH.