Museum of Popular Traditions, Amman
The Jordanian Museum of Popular Traditions acts as a sort of National Ethnographical Museum for Jordan. It includes a number of different displays on the artisanship and traditional industries that characterized both the Jordanian and Palestinian people for centuries. Of course, the Museum has a variety of different displays on the weaponry, agricultural tools and book arts of the inhabitants of this part of the Middle East, but my favourite part is the explanation of clothing habits. Yes, textiles are not always exciting, but these ones provide an interesting view into the diversity that existed and continues to exist amongst the Jordanian and Palestinian peoples. Jordan lies at the abutment of two Arab traditions: the urban, cosmopolitan one of the Levant, and the conservative, nomadic one of the Arabian deserts. The Museum does a good job at showing this split and how it produced a wealth of clothing and design traditions.
One of two small museums within the Roman Theatre of Amman, the Museum of Popular Traditions focuses Jordanian and Palestinian heritage from Jordan (Palestinians make up a large percentage of the Jordanian population). The museum was established in 1971 in the eastern vaults of the Theatre and it exhibits numerous costumes, jewellery and other artefacts. A section of the museum is dedicated to ancient mosaics transported from Madaba and Jerash, such as the ones in the attached photos. At the western end of the Theatre is the Jordan Folklore Museum, but it was closed for renovation when I visited in Dec 2010 (and I did not enter it on my first visit in Aug 2008).
The Museum of Popular Traditions is in the foundations of the Roman theater. It exhibits traditional Jordanian costumes, fine embroidery and antique jewels. It also houses several mosaics from Madaba and Jerash.
As part of your admission fee to see the Amphitheatre, this is one of two small museums (and the more interesting of the two in my opinion) that are nearby to check out. Showing an extensive collection of items, you get a full sense of the culture and customs of Jordan.