John F. Wilson

Marble and other fine building materials from Greece and Asia Minor probably entered the Holy Land through the port city of Tyre and then traveled to Banias along the ancient route to Damascus. An iron nail still holds a slab of dusty marble to a wall in the palace interior. The use of marble indicates the palace was probably not built by Herod the Great (who ruled over Banias from 20 to 4 B.C.E.), but by his great-grandson Agrippa II (53–c. 93 C.E.). Herod generally covered the walls of his palaces with stucco painted to look like marble. Agrippa II, on the other hand, preferred to adorn buildings with “marbles and columns,” according to an inscription found in Beirut.