Caesarea Maps & Plans: Audience Hall

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The central feature of north wing of the Upper Palace was a large hall (192m2). Paved at the time of its destruction in ornate geometric mosaic "carpets" of the Byzantine period, the room had evidently received many alterations while keeping its essential architectural form of the 1st B.C. We identify the room as an audience hall, cautiously holding the view that it was in such a room that the governors of Caesarea received Paul, among many others, for hearings.

Set into a rock-cut trench a across the back of the room, excavators found an unusual hypocaustal heating arrangement supporting an open area of heated floor with no evidence of adjacent bathing facilities. Smaller rooms flanked the hall to either side. Those to the west were excavated in 1993. The chamber walls immediately adjacent to the audience hall were totally destroyed by looting, leaving only a jumbled fill of flue and roof tiles, and footings cut in the bedrock for foundation walls.
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