Across from Jericho, on the Jordan side of the Jordan River, is the site where Jesus may have been baptized. It is 300 meters east of the river. During the decades of conflict between Jordan and Israel this area was a military zone, strewn with mines and closed to unauthorized personnel, but since the 1994 Peace Treaty the mines have been cleared and the site is being developed by the Jordanian Ministry of Tourism. Access roads, parking lots, a tourist center and a path to the river have been built. The ruins of three Byzantine churches have been uncovered, and Pope John Paul II has given his imprimatur to the site by visiting it.
The late Bruce Borthwick was professor emeritus of political science at Michigan's Albion College and was a senior research fellow at the American Center of Oriental Research, in Amman, Jordan, in 2002.