Blog Template Theology of the Body: A Find By <i>Real</i> Archaeologists

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

A Find By Real Archaeologists

Archaeologists in Israel appear to have found the final resting place of King Herod, yes the same King Herod who sent soldiers into Bethlehem to slaughter the Holy Innocents.
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 BCE, 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 kilometers 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 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.
There is also very good correlation with the works of Josephus, who states that the funeral procession for Herod was about 25 miles out of Jerusalem. The Tomb and monuments were destroyed during the revolts of AD 66-72, leading up to the destruction of the Temple by the Roman occupation. Looks like this ones legit, folks.

Read more at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and at the the New York Times Lede Blog.