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Masada National Park

Masada National Park

To many, Masada symbolizes the determination of the Jewish people to be free in its own land. The rooms were paved with black and white mosaics in geometric patterns. Plan of Sussita by Gottlieb Schumacher G.

Big, Allied and Dangerous (BAAD)

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Archaeology in Israel: Table of Contents Recent Discoveries Dead Sea Scrolls Masada Hebrew for fortress is a place of gaunt and majestic beauty that has become one of the Jewish people’s greatestsymbols as the place where the last Jewish stronghold against Roman invasion stood. Geography Masada is located atop an isolated rock cliff at the western end of the Judean Desert overlooking the Dead Sea.

On the east side, the rock falls in a sheer drop of about meters to the Dead Sea and on the western edge it stands about meters above the surrounding terrain. The natural approaches to the cliff top are very difficult. Calling himself Josephus Flavius, he became a Roman citizen and a successful historian. After the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Temple 70 CE they were joined by zealots and their families who had fled from Jerusalem.

There, they held out for three years, raiding and harassing the Romans. The Romans established camps at the base of Masada, laid siege to it and built a circumvallation wall. They then constructed a rampart of thousands of tons of stones and beaten earth against the western approaches of the fortress and, in the spring of 74 CE, moved a battering ram up the ramp and breached the wall of the fortress.

Flavius dramatically recounts the story told him by two surviving women. The Zealots cast lots to choose 10 men to kill the remainder. They then chose among themselves the one man who would kill the survivors. That last Jew then killed himself. We were the very first that revolted, and we are the last to fight against them; and I cannot but esteem it as a favor that God has granted us, that it is still in our power to die bravely, and in a state of freedom.

Then, in the ‘s, Hebrew writer Isaac Lamdan wrote “Masada,” a poetic history of the anguished Jewish fight against a world full of enemies. The site was identified inbut intensive excavations took place only in the mid’s with the help of hundreds of enthusiastic volunteers from Israel and from many foreign countries.

To many, Masada symbolizes the determination of the Jewish people to be free Masada National Park its own land.

Herodian Fortress The rhomboid, flat plateau of Masada measures x m. The casemate wall two parallel walls with partitions dividing the space between them into roomsis m. It was built along the edge of the plateau, above the steep cliffs, and it had many towers. Three narrow, winding paths led from below to fortified gates. The water supply was guaranteed by a network of large, rock-hewn cisterns on the northwestern side of the hill. They filled during the winter with rainwater flowing in streams Masada National Park the mountain on this side.

Cisterns on the summit supplied the immediate needs of the residents of Masada and could be relied upon in time of siege. To maintain interior coolness in the hot and dry climate of Masada, the many buildings of various sizes and functions had thick walls constructed of layers of hard dolomite stone, covered with plaster.

The higher northern side of Masada was densely built up with structures serving as the administrative center of the fortress and included storehouses, a large bathhouse and comfortable living quarters for officials and their families.

King Herod’s Residential Palace On the northern edge of the steep cliff, with a splendid view, stood the elegant, intimate, private palace-villa of the king. It was separated from the fortress by a wall, affording total privacy and security.

This northern palace…

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The citadel and sanctuary were constructed at the time associated in the biblical narrative with King David and Solomon. Omtrent het verzet bij Massada zijn diverse verhalen. On its southern side was a large room with two Ionic columns supporting the roof over the wide opening into the courtyard.

Masada National Park Israel

Masada National Park Israel

Tourists can easily do this from Tel Aviv or Jerusalem. Near the palace is a large Roman style bath house with a colorful mosaic floor and walls decorated with murals. The history of Massada spans from before the Christian era around 37 BC telling the amazing story of this unique mountain fortress. We were especially lucky that day as the sky was overcast and cloudy.

Masada National Park

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Only in Masada. Situated on a natural fortress perched 1, feet above the Dead Sea in the Judean Desert, Masada was the last stand of nearly 1, Jewish men, women and children who decided to commit suicide as free people, rather than fall into the hands of the Roman conquerors! Masada National Park is just an hour’s drive south of Jerusalem. Despite its lofty height, Masada is accessible by everyone, whether you are young, old or disabled.

You can travel up and down the meter mountain by cable car in both directions in a wheelchair. Or, you may prefer to walk it on the famous ‘snake path’ if its not too hot. It takes about an hour going up the 1, or so steps and about half an hour going down.

History of Masada Masada was a small fortress built by the Jewish Macabbeans to protect vital trade routes in Judea between Egypt and Syria. But it was Kind Herod who made Masada magnificent. He built on Masada a huge fortress, two palaces, baths, swimming pools, water reservoirs, huge Masada National Park Israel of storehouses and an armory sometime between 37 and 31 BC. A few of the storehouses contained high quality wheat, the best olive oil and expensive wines imported from Sicily. These were obviously used by King Herod and his guests.

Herod turned Masada into a huge storehouse which would serve his kingdom in the event of a war. His foresight proved well founded A Jewish zealot group took possession of Masada. They were called the Sicarii after the curved ‘sica’ or dagger they wore hidden. They lived in Masada for three years, led by Elazar Ben-Yair. Their ranks were joined by refugees from Jerusalem after the destruction of the city and the Great Temple.

The Roman leader Flavius Silva built eight camps, a siege wall around Masdada, and a massive ramp. As the Roman battering ram breached their walls, the Jewish rebels realized their situation was hopeless. They made a fateful decision. Refusing to surrender and end up as slaves, or worse, they first set fire to their homes and stores. Then, they chose by lot ten men who would have the task of killing the other men, women and children.

And so they did. It was on the first day of Passover, the holiday celebrating Jewish freedom from slavery. The last man alive killed the other 9 zealots and committed suicide. When the Romans finally made it up the mount, they were met by silence of corpses. As Josephus recorded, only two women and five children survived by hiding. It displays original mosaics and archaeological find from Masad explains the history and story of Masada in an entertaining way. After you ascend to the flat top, there are amazing views all around.

Beside the stunning scenery, you can walk around and discover: Palace remains – the remnants of the fascinating three-level palace built by Herod at the Northern vertical slope of Masada. There are reconstructed paintings and mosaic floors. One of the remarkable archaeological finds is the synagogue, one of the oldest on Earth dating to the times when Jerusalem Temple still stood in all its glory during Herod’s time. You can see the synagogue benches along the ways.

Further on is the ‘gniza’ room Glacier National Park To Great Falls Mt the oldest Masada National Park Israel of Torah scrolls have ever been found. Two pits dug into the floor served as a storage area for damaged religious texts. The Lots room where pottery pieces were found with the names of the Jewish rebels…

Meet Masada National Park

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Josephus said that the Sicarii raided nearby Jewish villages including Ein Gedi , where they massacred women and children. Its dramatic ascent can now be made by cable-car, but the drama and imagery that this site portrays is no less powerful than it ever was. They made a fateful decision.