© Aerial Photographic Archive for Archaeology in the Middle East, APAAME_20060910_DLK-0005. Photographer: David L. Kennedy.

CARE TO DANCE? While Machaerus is best known from Josephus as the setting of Salome’s dance and John the Baptist’s subsequent execution (a story also told in the Gospels), archaeology at the palatial fortress tells a longer tale. The site was occupied in three primary phases under Hasmonean, Herodian and Zealot leadership. Comparative studies of other contemporaneous Judean fortresses west of the Dead Sea and Jordan River often reveal striking parallels to the history, artifacts and architecture of Machaerus.