Caesarea Maritima: the governor’s palace baths

 

Caesarea-Maritima-Byzantine-governor-bathhouse

As we’ve noted before, excavation work by archaeologists has revealed multiple layers of habitation in Caesarea Maritima. One of those layers is that of the Byzantine era and something of the Byzantine governor’s palace has been found there, pictured above.

A historical marker reads:

This bathhouse is the only important remain of the private wing of the Byzantine governor’s palace, almost entirely destroyed by the construction of the medieval fortifications.

 

Caesarea Maritima: architecture (5)

 

 

Caesarea-Maritima-sarcophagus

Column capitalsĀ aren’t the only items on display near Herod’s theater and the Herodian wall in Caesarea Maritima. One of the largest objects thereĀ is a sarcophagi.

An informative sign near the sarcophagi on display reads:

“Sarcophagi (coffins in Greek) made of stone (granite, marble, limestone) lead or wood were wisely used among different people including Jews, throughout the Greco-Roman world. Sarcophagus means ‘flesh eater.’

“Stone coffins were made out of two huge blocks – a cavity in which the corpse was placed and a double-slopped roof lid on which [in this particular example] a Greek inscription was engraved: ‘the grave of Prokopios the Deacon.’ The coffins were decorated with flora, hunting, mythological scenes, or with geometric shapes for more modest coffins.

“Most Sarcophagi discovered in Caesarea belonged to the Roman-Byzantine cemetery which is still to be fully excavated.”

Prokopios, considered to be “the last major historian of the ancient world,” lived in the 6th century A.D.