Asaf Ben Haim

Asaf Ben Haim

Archaeology and Ancient Middle Eastern studies

Subject: Cultural Sources of the Architecture of King Herod In Light of the Architectural Decoration in Herodium

Supervisor: Dr. Orit Peleg-Barkat

Abstract: My work concentrates on the architectural decoration in Herodium and on the cultural sources, which derive from the analysis and the context of the architectural items at the site. The focus of my research will be the various architectural assemblages which were revealed in the site and include more than a thousand pieces. Those items, the vast majority of which have never been scientifically analysed, will be presented in detail and several aspects will be examine, such as the materials and the carving technique, typology and their archaeological and architectural context. The long-run excavation project at Herodium enables us to identify a few constructive stages at the site, which can be aligned in a relative stratigraphy. Thus, examining the architectural items in their archaeological context might help us trace chronological changes in the architectural decoration of the site and to identify accordingly trends of progress and development in the Herod’s building program. Similarly, the project aims to suggest a reconstruction for some of the architectural units at the site in light of the architectural and decorative analysis, as well as its scale, material, typology and style of carving. The reconstruction of the architectural units and their decoration will help in understanding the architectural characteristics of Herodium in particular and King Herod’s architecture as a whole. Equipped with such knowledge, many unsolved questions that the sheer architectural plan cannot answer, might be addressed, as like: what are the important parts of building which have the most elaborate decoration? How did the upper parts of the towers look like? Can we figure the King’s most beloved palaces due to its decoration?