The Art of Stone-carving

In Herod's time, the stone-carving industry flourished in the Land of Israel, employing many artists and craftsmen, who produced vessels, furniture, sarcophagi, and ossuaries. In addition, religious and other public buildings, as well as the facades of tombs, bore carved architectural decorations, which greatly enhanced their appearance. Capitals and column bases, the entablatures above them, ceilings, and door and window frames all had special decorations that continued local traditions from the Hellenistic Period, while incorporating new motifs and decorative forms inspired by the Roman world. This unique style found particular expression in the structures on the Temple Mount. The new forms were quickly adopted outside the Temple, and the use of Herodian architectural decoration became popular not only in public buildings but also in the houses and tombs of the wealthy population.