Lena Naama Sharabi

Lena Naama

Advisors: Dr. Silvia Rozenberg and Dr. Orit Peleg-Barkat

Ph.D. dissertation topic: ''Mural Decoration in the Reception Area of Herod's Theater at Herodium.''

My research focuses on the interior decoration in the Herodian palaces of the first century BCE. At the focal point of my research stands the interior decoration of the Reception Area in the Royal theater of King Herod the Great at Herodium. The walls of the Reception Area were decorated in the Late Second Pompeian Style and included pictures with figurative art; so fare unattested in Early Roman Judaea. The excavation of the preserved Reception Room unearthed more than fifty thousand plaster fragments executed in the fresco, secco and stucco techniques; many of which came from the floor above the Reception Room and included figurative art that have yet to be published. The use of figurative art was exceptional in Herodian art and rises questions on the presence and execution of the pictures.

The aim of my research is to position the interior decoration of the Reception Area between the art of Rome and that of Alexandria by Egypt. My methodology includes chronological and iconographical analyses of the decoration in addition to analyses on the materials and techniques used in the wall decoration of the Herodian palaces and the Reception area of the Royal theater at Herodium. Another focus of my research is to use computer simulations to create tentative reconstructs of the decorative program in the Reception Area. I hope to arrive at conclusions on sources of influence and presence of various workshops at the Herodian palaces and even perhaps get closer to an understanding of the presence and use of figurative art in the kingdom of Herod the Great.


Assistant instructor – Introduction to Greek and to Roman Archaeology.