The waterpark at the base of the Herodium (Jabal al-Fureidis > "Paradise Mountain") is extravagant.
Begin by acknowledging that the site chosen as a pleasure palace by Herod the Great (the baby-killer of the Christmas story) is located on the edge of the Judean Wilderness. Water is in short supply here.
Add to this context an engineering effort that constructed a reservoir twice that of an Olympic-size swimming pool. It was 10 feet deep! In the center was a circular island, likely presented in a classical tholos design. One could swim or even boat to the island in such a desert "lake."
Finish it by surrounding the installation with courtyards. These culminated in rows of columns with Ionic capitals and stucco painted walls.
I wonder where they kept the jumbo pool noodles?
This is extravagance. First century Herodian extravagance.
Interested in visiting Israel/Palestine yourself? Pastors, professors, and their spouses are invited to participate in a unique experience. Join us Jan 8-15, 2019, for a rich engagement with the Land of the Bible. Priced at a deep-discount level, this trip introduces leaders to the potential and pitfalls of organized travel.