Articles by Patterns of Evidence

Herod’s Dance Floor that Doomed John the Baptist Discovered

It is a dramatic and gruesome account recorded in two of the Gospels of the New Testament. Herod Antipas, son of King Herod the Great, had John the Baptist executed after promising to grant any request of a woman who had pleased him with her dance. She asked for the head of John.

According to Jewish historian Flavius Josephus (AD 37-100) these events took place in AD 29 at Herod’s mountaintop citadel of Machaerus. The remains of Machaerus sit above the Dead Sea’s east shore in modern Jordan. Now, a Hungarian Franciscan team of archaeologists headed by excavation director Győző Vörös think they have discovered the pavilion at Machaerus where the deadly dance of Salome, the daughter of Herodias, elicited the fatal pronouncement.