Sidebar to: Proof Positive: How We Used Math to Find Herod’s Palace at Banias
Decorative opus sectile floors first appeared in the fourth century B.C.E., in Greek architecture, and by the late second century were adopted by the Romans. Marble (from quarries around the Mediterranean) became fashionable in opus sectile floors in the mid-first century. Floors of this style were considered more prestigious than regular mosaic floors, and Herod the Great used them in the more important areas of his palaces, especially in public areas, such as triclinia (dining rooms) and bathhouses. Evidence for opus sectile floors comes from Herodian palaces at Cyprus, Caesarea Maritima, Herodium, Jericho, Machaerus, Masada, and Tiberias, and from the Temple Mount.a
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