Early roman period Gadara underwent the first of several rapid urban expansions. The city walls were extended and adjacent to the new west gate associated with this expansion there are a series of buildings and courtyards and smaller rooms opening onto the Decumanus Maximus.
These small rooms within the colonnaded frontage onto the decumanus maximus street represent small shops. Behind the shops are an octagonal floored macellum building which functioned as a market hall and a large colonnaded rectangular courtyard which may also have provided a location for commercial activities
The complex occupies and ideal location next to the west gate of the city which leads out onto the flat agricultural plateau to the west and the trade routes down into the Jordan valley and on to the Mediterranean ports.