Courtesy of the excavation team

The promontory palace at Caesarea in Herod’s day, in an artist’s rendition. Perched on a rock mass extending into the sea, the palace must have astonished its visitors. As if to flaunt his disregard for the daunting setting, Herod built the palace so that visitors could disembark directly into to it from the sea.

A statue rises from the palace’s large pool while colonnades enclose the pool on three sides (the statue is assumed by excavators because of an extant pedestal). A vaulted dining room occupied the eastern portion of the palace (at top in the artist’s rendition and the plan). In the back wall of the dining room stood a semi-circular fountain set within an apse. To heighten the room’s glamor, the floor consisted of a multicolored geometric mosaic.