Article Review -- "Yadin At Masada" #1

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Article Review -- "Yadin At Masada" #1

Postby Marcus Minucius Audens » Wed Dec 14, 2016 8:12 am

Article Review: “Yadin At Masada” #1, (To be Continued):-

Neil Faulkner, “Yadin At Masada,” >Great Excavations<, Current World Archaeology magazine, (Issue 56 - Vol. 5 - #8 - Dec 2012, Jan 2013, Page 66).

>>The Dig<<

In the book “Jewish War,” written by the Jewish Historian Josephus, is the story of the Battle of Masada, a great mountain in the Jewish Desert not far from the Dead Sea. It is a battle between the Jewish “Zealots” who were rebelling against the Roman Occupation of Judea and the Roma Army. This is the Siege of Masada in AD 73 which resulted in the suicide deaths of 960 men, women, and children who preferred to die by their own hand than to endure the agonies of the conquering Roman Legion.

To this place came Yigael Yadin to carry out an intensive and extensive excavation of the fortress and palace built by King Herod the Great, as well as the living conditions and facilities for the rebel Zealots during their stay on the mountain. The work undertaken took a total of eleven months in two seasons because of the desert heat .

>>The Discoveries<<

Almost all of the structures put together under the overseeing eye of King Herod were laid bare, and throughly researched and mapped. There are several references about the excavations, but two which are sure to be of interest are:

>>>”The Story of Masada,” Yigael Yadin, Gerald Gottlieb;

>>>”Masada, Herod’s Fortress, and the Zealt’s Last Stand,” Yigael Yadin.

These structures were built in the second half of the first century BC and were comprised of “The Western Palace” as it was known, with it’s very own “Throne Room,” two massive storerooms, both an administrative building as well as an apartment building possibly for the Royal Staff, and on the North peak the famed “Hanging Villa.”
The decorations were not spared in any way for the areas designated as the ‘grand Living Area.’ Masada is a flat topped mountain which rises about 1200 ft (366m) above the surrounding desert lands. It is very steep-sided and from above resembles to some degree a ship. The “Hanging Villa” is located on the very prow of that rock ship with steep drops all around an magnificent views of the area on all three sides.

However, in excavating the Zealot quarters it was obvious the differing living conditions between the high born Jewish people and the common ones. Many things were found that relate to the Zealot temporary living facilities, coins, plaits of human hair, bone utensils, leather sandals, basketwork, all indicating the simple life led by the revolutionaries.

>>The Deductions<<

The religous radicalism of the Dead Sea Scrolls was linked to some fragments of scroll which included a passage found nowhere else except in the hidden scrolls of the Dead Sea. This link can now be assured to provide a view of the Zealot motives for the revolution that they started and the way they were determined to end it. There are three pictures along with this write-up: A photograph of Yigael Yadin at the top, a pair of preserved leather sandals found in the Zealot improvised living quarters, in the center, and a picture of Herod’s Palace on the prow of the great rock ship of Masada.


One thing that is obviously missing from this narrative is any mention of the Roman Legion and it’s works that were erected to take this mountain refuge. The steep ramp to near the top of the mountain built by the Roman engineers to allow a tower to be built and placed against the wall of the mountain to break through the barriers erected by the Zealot’s or the fire that very nearly defeated the Romans before the winds turned and flames engulfed the wooden wall separating the attackers, from the top of the mountain

(To Be Continued).

Respectfully Submitted;
Marcus Audens
Marcus Minucius Audens

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