Richard Nowitz

Two hits—and a miss. We know the locations of two of the three Herodian Augusteums in ancient Israel: One was at Caesarea Maritima, on the Mediterranean coast, and the other at Samaria-Sebaste in central Israel. The third is widely believed to have been at Banias, a scenic site (pictured here) overlooking a waterfall and dedicated to Pan. The authors note that the proposed location of Herod’s temple at Banias, to the left of the cave entrance, would set it apart from all the known Augusteums in the Roman world: The Banias structure had three entrances, whereas Augusteums typically have a single entrance, and it is not prominently situated, as such temples usually are. The most likely location of Herod’s third Augusteum, the authors contend, is Omrit, a prominent site that supported a Herodian temple with a single entrance.