Ritual bath discovered
In this palace, Salome danced for Herod
Archaeologists find monumental mikveh – a ritual bath – at the palace of King Herod in Jordan. In this place John the Baptist was killed after Salome had danced for the ruler.
In the ruins of Machaerus, the fort of King Herod in Jordan, archaeologists found a giant mikveh. The fortress near the Dead Sea was destroyed by the same Roman legion that had already destroyed Masada.
The ritual bath was used for spiritual purification, for the personal use of the royal family. The bath is the largest of its kind ever found in Jordan. It recalls the recently discovered and uniquely designated ritual bath in Qumran on the Israeli side of the Dead Sea.
The size of the palace is revealed
In the last 2000 years sand, dust and stone had covered the bath. Originally it had been equipped with a
stone ceiling. The roof had been destroyed 71 years after Christ when the Tenth Roman Legion under Lucilius Bassus attacked the desert fortress.
The archaeologists also discovered collapsed walls, four Roman ballistic projectiles and two pillars destroyed. Also brought to light was a 9.2 meter high wall. For the first time after these two millennia, the true grandeur of Herodes’ Desert Palace becomes visible.
Also found were 18-meter-deep underground cisterns, from which the gardens and baths were fed in Roman style.
A fortress in the former Judea
Where Salome danced
Author: Daniel Gerber
Source: Livenet / Scofield Institute