Archaeologists Discover King Herod Had a Bonsai Garden

More than 2,000 years ago, miniaturized trees decorated King Herod’s palace in Jericho, in what could have been a display of the ruler’s power over nature – and his fealty to Rome

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Herod the Great, as his posthumous title suggests, was a go-big-or-go-home kind of king. The first century B.C.E. ruler of Judea is remembered not only for his ruthlessness but for his megalomaniac building projects: the spectacular renovation of the Temple in Jerusalem; the construction of the port city of Caesarea; and his extravagant palaces, often built on remote sites that doubled up as nearly impregnable fortresses.