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Stucco Reliefs 1

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Stucco Reliefs 1
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Here are some samples of the stucco reliefs that were found during the excavation of the Royal Box.

The upper part of the walls were decorated with stucco reliefs, which were plaster imitations of stonework typical of public buildings.  This style was a feature of all of Herod's palaces, but in this room, the decorations are especially large, splendid, and in bolder relief.

The artists either cast the stucco decorations in a mold and then attached them to the walls, or used fine tools to sculpt and decorations freehand directly onto the wall.

The Royal Box was decorated with stucco reliefs and colorful wall paintings.  The theater and room were probably redecorated in anticipation of the visit of Marcus Agrippa, Augustus's right-hand man, in 15 or 14 BC.  The walls have evidence of at least two layers of frescos.

The walls have three longitudinal registers.  The bottom register is decorated with lively colored frescos with "margins" that imitate Herodian masonry.  The middle register had faux columns and imitation "windows"—the "shutters" of which were "open."  In the open "window" were a variety of scenes, evidently stressing the achievements of Augustus and Marcus Agrippa—for example, the victory at the Battle of Actium, and the conquest of Egypt, etc.  The upper register was composed of stucco reliefs.