A courtyard originally discovered in 1980, archaeologists now believe this courtyard in Machaerus, Jordan was next to Herod’s throne – where he witnessed a dance so moving John the Baptist was beheaded for it.

“Herodias’s own daughter came in and performed a dance that delighted Herod and his guests. The king said to the girl, ‘Ask of me whatever you wish and I will grant it to you.’ She went out and said to her mother, ‘What shall I ask for?’ She replied, ‘The head of John the Baptist.'” – Mark 6:22,24

Győző Vörös, director of the Machaerus Excavations and Surveys at the Dead Sea project, said the courtyard “has an apsidal-shaped niche that is probably the remains of the throne where Herod Antipas sat” as he watched Salome dance.

Vörös says although the courtyard was discovered before, it wasn’t recognized as being part of Herod’s throne until recently. Morten Hørning Jensen, a professor at the Norwegian School of Theology, agrees.

“I think it is historically probable that this excavation has brought the ‘dance floor’ of Salome to light.”

His team reconstructed what the courtyard would have looked like around the time of John the Baptist’s execution.

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  1. Saint John the Baptist and Elizabeth, pray for us.
    That all of the current blasphemies and vanities of those whose mindset resembles Herod Antipas and the cruel tyrrany of those similar to his father, might hear the relentless voice of John the Baptist, who prepares the way for the Lord Jesus Christ, and invites true salvation through baptism and repentance. Let all ‘go, and sin no more’ that all may be worthy in reverence to meet God the Son at the appointed time.
    All holy men and women, martyrs, saints, angels, pray for us.
    Let Truth be honoured and Light be cast into every shadow.
    Holy Family of Nazareth, restore matrimony and family life.
    Transform all of mankind’s iniquity into integrity.
    Ecce Crucem Domini!
    Fugite partes adversae!
    Vicit Leo de tribu Juda,
    Radix David! Alleluia!
    Saint Anthony of Padua, pray for us. For Italy.
    Saint Teresa of Avila, pray for us. For Rome.
    Blood of Christ Crucified, cleanse the Vatican.


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