Dance flooring the place John the Baptist was condemned to dying found, archaeologist says

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Archaeologists declare that they’ve recognized the lethal dance flooring the place John the Baptist — a preacher who foretold the approaching of Jesus — was sentenced to dying round A.D. 29. 

The Bible and the traditional author Flavius Josephus (A.D. 37-100) each describe how King Herod Antipas, a son of King Herod, had John the Baptist executed. Josephus specified that the execution occurred at Machaerus, a fort close to the Useless Sea in modern-day Jordan. 

Herod Antipas feared the rising affect of John the Baptist among the many inhabitants and so he executed him Josephus wrote. The Bible, alternatively, tells a much more elaborate story, claiming that Herod Antipas had John the Baptist executed in change for a dance. 

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The Biblical story claims that Herod Antipas was set to marry a girl named Herodias, each of whom had been divorced — one thing that John the Baptist objected to. 

At their marriage ceremony, Herodias’s daughter, named Salome, carried out a dance that so delighted Herod Antipas that the king promised her something she needed as a reward. Salome, goaded on by Herodias, requested for the pinnacle of John the Baptist. Herod Antipas was reluctant to grant the request, in keeping with the Bible, however he finally determined to meet it and had John the Baptist’s head delivered to Salome on a platter. 

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The remains of part of Machaerus can be seen here.  Dance flooring the place John the Baptist was condemned to dying found, archaeologist says missing image

The stays of a part of Machaerus may be seen right here. (Picture credit score: Győző Vörös)
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Megiddo, seen here, was one of many archaeological sites where excavations were suspended or curtailed during 2020.  Dance flooring the place John the Baptist was condemned to dying found, archaeologist says missing image

Megiddo, seen right here, was one in all many archaeological websites the place excavations have been suspended or curtailed throughout 2020. (Picture credit score: Shutterstock)
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Here, a reconstruction of the upper citadel of Machaerus.  Dance flooring the place John the Baptist was condemned to dying found, archaeologist says missing image

Right here, a reconstruction of the higher citadel of Machaerus. (Picture credit score: Győző Vörös)
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The reconstruction of the courtyard where Salome's dance may have taken place.  Dance flooring the place John the Baptist was condemned to dying found, archaeologist says missing image

The researchers created a reconstruction of the courtyard the place Salome’s dance could have taken place. (Picture credit score: Győző Vörös)
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Archaeologists believe that this niche represents the remains of the throne of Herod Antipas. From here, the decision to execute John the Baptist may have been made.  Dance flooring the place John the Baptist was condemned to dying found, archaeologist says missing image

Archaeologists consider that this area of interest represents the stays of the throne of Herod Antipas. From right here, the choice to execute John the Baptist could have been made. (Picture credit score: Győző Vörös)

Lethal dance flooring discovered?

A courtyard uncovered at Machaerus is probably going the place the place Salome’s dance was carried out and the place Herod Antipas determined to have John the Baptist beheaded, wrote Győző Vörös, director of a mission known as Machaerus Excavations and Surveys on the Useless Sea, within the e book “Holy Land Archaeology on Both Facet: Archaeological Essays in Honour of Eugenio Alliata” (Fondazione Terra Santa, 2020). The courtyard, Vörös mentioned, has an apsidal-shaped area of interest that’s in all probability the stays of the throne the place Herod Antipas sat. 

After King Herod’s dying his kingdom was divided amongst his sons and Herod Antipas managed a kingdom that included Galilee and a part of Jordan. He managed his kingdom at occasions from Machaerus. . 

Archaeologists found the courtyard in 1980, however they did not acknowledge the area of interest as being a part of Herod Antipas’ throne till now, Vörös wrote within the article. The presence of the throne subsequent to the courtyard solidifies the conclusions concerning the dance flooring, Vörös wrote. 

The archaeological workforce has been reconstructing the courtyard and revealed a number of photos within the e book exhibiting what it regarded like across the time of John the Baptist’s execution. 

Right here, a reconstruction of the courtyard the place Salome’s dance could have taken place. (Picture credit score: Győző Vörös)

Students reply

Greater than half a dozen students not concerned with the excavations talked to Dwell Science concerning the declare that Herod Antipas’ throne, and the courtyard the place the lethal dance was carried out, had been discovered. Some students have been satisfied, whereas others have been skeptical. 

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“I believe it’s traditionally possible that this excavation has introduced the ‘dance flooring’ of Salome to gentle,” mentioned Morten Hørning Jensen, a professor on the Norwegian Faculty of Theology, who wrote the e book “Herod Antipas in Galilee” (Mohr Siebeck, 2010). 

Some students weren’t satisfied, expressing doubts about whether or not the newly recognized area of interest represents the stays of the throne of Herod Antipas. Jodi Magness, a professor of non secular research on the College of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, praised the work by Vörös and his workforce; and whereas Magness mentioned that it’s attainable that Vörös discovered the throne of Herod Antipas, she has doubts. 

As an illustration, the area of interest discovered at Machaerus appears small in contrast with the throne of his father King Herod discovered on the winter palace of Jericho, Magness instructed Dwell Science, referring to a throne within the palace that’s coated with a semi-circular overhead apse. She added that the area of interest at Machaerus seems to be much like two niches discovered on the Higher Herodium, a palace-fortress constructed by King Herod, however these two niches have by no means been recognized because the stays of thrones. 

Eric Meyers, a professor emeritus of Jewish research at Duke College, mentioned that it’s fairly attainable that the throne of Herod Antipas has been discovered and is raring to learn the ultimate studies on the positioning. Whether or not “an ideal match between literary and archaeological sources that locations the execution of John the Baptist in that very spot stays to be seen. In any occasion, a powerful case has been made and I look ahead to the ultimate studies,” Meyers mentioned. 

Initially revealed on Dwell Science.

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