More Sites on Herod's Tomb - May 9

Darrell L. Bock's picture

Information on Herod's tomb and pictures continue to come in. Here is the URL for the site at Hebrew University, whose faculty are responsible for the dig.URL: http://www.huji.ac.il/cgi-bin/dovrut/dovrut_search_eng.pl?mesge117861762...A key part of this report reads: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 meters wide) leading 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 (made in the form of special jars that were used to store body ashes). Similar ones are to be found on the top of burial monuments in the Nabatean world. The urns had a triangular cover and were decorated on the sides.Spread among the ruins are pieces of a large, unique sarcophagus (close to 2.5 meters long), made of a Jerusalemite reddish limestone, which was decorated by rosettes. The sarcophagus had a triangular cover, which was decorated on its sides. This is assumed with certainty to be the sarcophagus of Herod. Only very few similar sarcophagi are known in the country and can be found only in elaborate tombs such as the famous one at the King’s Tomb on Selah a-Din Street in East Jerusalem. Although no inscriptions have been found yet at Herodium, neither on the sarcophagus nor in the building remains, these still might be found during the continuation of the dig.___________A follow up story with a few photos appears at the UUniversity site at: http://www.hunews.huji.ac.il/articles.asp?cat=6&artID=773____________Ha Aretz in Irael has the following story. The site is 12 KM or about 8 miles from Jerusalem.URL: http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/856784.html____________Eleven photos can be found at the site of Der Spiegel from Germany.Here is that URL: http://www.spiegel.de/fotostrecke/0,5538,21444,00.html

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