Holy Land 2001 Masada Photos

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Background: Masada was fortified some time between 103 and 76BC during the Hasmonean period. The last of the Hasmonean high-priestly kings was executed in 37BC and the pro-Roman Herod the Great began a new era. In 43BC Herod took over the existing fortifications at Masada to provide himself a "way out" in the event of trouble from the Jews or the Romans. He built fortifications and splendid palaces. However, he died in 4BC without having to make use of it. Following the Jewish revolt against Rome in 66AD, a group of Zealots from Galilee captured the lightly-defended Masada and it became a refuge for fleeing Jews. After suppressing the uprising, the Romans turned their attention to Masada. Remains of their wall and camp are clearly visible - as well as their siege ramp which took a couple of years to build with Jewish slave labour. When they finally stormed the fortress, it was silent and empty - the defenders had taken their own lives rather than be taken by the enemy.
Note: Click on thumbnail for larger image.

Model of Masada.The Dead Sea from the top of Masada.
Herod's Northern Palace, Masada. Ruins of Roman camp at the base of Masada.
Bath house at Masada. Roman siege ramp, Masada.

Photographs © Peter J Blackburn, 2001
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