Tomb of King Herod Discovered at Herodium by Hebrew University Archaeologist -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Bible and Spade (Second Run)
Volume: BSPADE 20:2 (Spring 2007)
Article: Tomb of King Herod Discovered at Herodium by Hebrew University Archaeologist
Author: Anonymous

Tomb of King Herod Discovered at Herodium by Hebrew University Archaeologist

Jerusalem, May 8, 2007—The long search for Herod the Great’s tomb has ended with the exposure of the remains of his grave, sarcophagus and mausoleum on Mount Herodium’s northeastern slope, Prof. Ehud Netzer of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Institute of Archaeology announced today.

Herod was the Roman-appointed king of Judea from 37 to 4 BC, who was renowned for his many monumental building projects, including the reconstruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, the palace at Masada, as well as the complex at Herodium, 15 km south of Jerusalem.

Herodium is the most outstanding among King Herod’s building projects. This is the only site that carries his name and the site where he chose to be buried and to memorialize himself—all of this with the integration of a huge, unique palace at the fringe of the desert, said Prof. Netzer. Therefore, he said, the exposure of his tomb becomes the climax of this site’s research.

The approach to the burial site—which has been described by the archaeologists involved as one of the most striking finds in Israel in recent years—was via a monumental flight of stairs (6.5 m wide) leading

Hebrew University of Jerusalem/Sasson Teiram

Prof. Ehud Netzer holding part of the remains of Herod’s tomb.

AP/Avi Ohayon

Aerial view of the hilltop compound of Herodium.

to the hillside that were especially constructed for the funeral procession.

The excavations on the slope of the mountain, at whose top is the famed structure comprised of a palace, a fortress and a monument, commenced in August 2006. The expedition, on behalf of the Institute of Archaeology of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, was conducted by Prof. Netzer, together with Yaakov Kalman and Roi Porath and with the participation of local Bedouins.

The location and unique nature of the findings, as well as the historical record, leave no doubt that this was Herod’s burial site, said Prof. Netzer.

The mausoleum itself was almost totally dismantled in ancient times. In its place remained only part of its well-built podium, or base, built of large white ashlars (dressed stone) in a manner and size not previously revealed at Herodium.

Among the many high quality architectural elements, mostly well decorated, which were spread among the ruins, is a group of decorated urns...

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