A PARADE COURSE, OF COURSE. When Netzer began excavating at Herodium in 1972, he decided to focus his attention on understanding the vast ruins in the valley below the palace/fortress. It became clear that Lower Herodium, as he called the resort-like complex, was laid out on the same architectural axes as Upper Herodium. One of the most prominent features of Lower Herodium was a long, broad leveled area that was clearly distinct from the natural terraces around it. Although he first thought it might have been a hippodrome for chariot races, Netzer soon realized that this man-made course would have been the ideal setting for Herod’s elaborate funeral parade, which probably started at Lower Herodium and then processed to the king’s burial place.