Hershel Shanks

KING OF THE DANCE FLOOR. A semicircular apse marks the spot for the throne of King Herod and his successor Herod Antipas. Located at the axial center of the peristyle courtyard, Herod Antipas would have sat in this spot while watching the deadly dance of his step-daughter, Salome. This center of power of the Herodian palace is currently decorated with Ionic columns reconstructed by the Franciscan excavators at Machaerus. Large Doric column prints line the porticoes at the side of the courtyard, however, and the current excavators at Machaerus plan to correct the reconstruction.