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Science in Brief

SCIENCE FILE: An exploration of issues and trends affecting science, medicine and the environment. : Foundations of Pagan Temple Built by King Herod Uncovered

August 28, 1995| From Times staff and wire reports

Maryland archeologists digging at the ancient city of Caesarea in Israel have uncovered the foundations of King Herod's celebrated temple, dating from the 1st Century B.C. The temple is the pagan counterpart to Herod's widely acclaimed temple to the Jewish God in Jerusalem. The size of the stone-block foundation, which measures about 100 feet by 180 feet, indicates that the temple was one of the largest in Israel and surrounding countries.

Herod the Great, notorious for cruelty to his people and loyalty to Rome, was one of history's outstanding builders, constructing palaces at Jericho and Jerusalem, fortresses at Masada and Herodion, and the cities of Sebaste and Caesarea. The Caesarea temple, discovered this summer by archeologist Kenneth Holum of the University of Maryland, would have dominated the harbor and provided a beacon for incoming sailors.

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