The online site LifeScience recently had two reports about archaeological discoveries in the Holy Land that relate to two very specific New Testament events.
The first concerns what is thought to be the site of Salome’s dance that so entranced King Herod Antipas with fatal consequences for St John the Baptist. This is in the palace complex at Machaerus. As the article makes clear it cannot be ascertained with certainty but the case is well made. In any case it is part of the opening out and understanding of Herod’s palace and a significant insight into the world the king and his followers inhabited. The illustrated post can be read at Dance floor where John the Baptist was condemned to death discovered, archaeologist says
Andrea Solario Salome with the Head of John the Baptist 1507-9
Image: Metropolitan Museum of Art
The second report is about further discoveries in the Garden of Gethsemane. I knew evidence of buildings had been found there associated with the cultivation of olives - the name of the garden means oil press. This latest discovery is a mikveh, a ritual bath for those who worked there. In addition there are the remains of a Byzantine pilgrimage church that clearly predates the Muslim conquest. The report about this discovery can be seen at Ritual bath unearthed at site where Judas betrayed Jesus