Identification of the Miniaturised Garden of King Herod The Great: The Fossil Pollen Evidence

Dafna Langgut, Kathyn Gleason

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study reveals the flora of the well-preserved ionic courtyard garden of the Third Winter Palace in Jericho of King Herod the Great, based on the identification of fossil pollen. The garden's peristyle displays some of the finest architectural and artistic remains known in the gardens of the Roman world (Netzer 2001; Rozenberg 2008). Archaeological excavation exposed seven rows of as many as 11 planting pots each within the courtyard garden. The pollen finds from the garden soil and the planting pots include pine, cypress/juniper, cedar, olive, oriental plane, myrtle, bay tree and date palm. All of these trees and shrubs are well-known ornamentals in elite gardens of the western Roman world. Since these naturally large plants were grown in planting pots, it is suggested that the garden featured dwarfed trees. The location of this unique garden in an extreme desert landscape expressed to visitors Herod's power and affluence, not only in ruling his subjects but also in controlling natural forces.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-101
Number of pages31
JournalSTRATA: Bulletin of the Anglo-Israel Archaeological Society
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2020


  • FOSSIL pollen
  • CONTAINER gardening
  • DATE palm
  • gardens
  • Herod
  • horticulture
  • Jericho
  • Judea
  • palynology


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