King Herodís Tomb a Mystery Yet Again
2013 10 16

By Tia Ghose | LiveScience

Herod the Great, the king of Judea who ruled not long before the time of Jesus, seems to have eluded historians once again.

In 2007 archaeologists announced they had found the great kingís tomb, a surprisingly modest mausoleum that was part of the Herodium, a massive complex built by Herod on a cone-shaped hill in the desert outside Jerusalem.

But what everyone thought was his final resting place may not be. The modest structure is too small and modest for the ostentatious king; its mediocre construction and design are at odds with Herodís reputation as a master planner and builder, archaeologists now say.


In 2007, archaeologist Ehud Netzer announced that he had discovered Herodís Tomb. But in October 2013, archaeologists said the tomb may not have been Herodís after all.

Lost to history

King Herod, who lived from 74 B.C. to 4 B.C., was a vassal king for the Romans. Known as both a genius and a madman, he executed many of his family members but doted on his mother and father. He built lavish building complexes, including the famous fortress of Masada, though he funded such huge projects by burdening the people with backbreaking taxes. In the New Testament, Herod is said to have ordered the slaughter of thousands of innocent babies after prophets predicted one would grow to be a rival.

Documents from the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus suggest Herod was buried at the Herodium, laid out on a gold bed draped with opulent fabrics, and thronged by the entire army and a massive funerary procession, said Joseph Patrich, an archaeologist at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

But Herodís exact burial place remained a mystery for thousands of years.

Then, in 2007, archaeologist Ehud Netzer announced he had discovered the kingís final resting place. The tomb was a 32-by-32-foot (10 by 10 meters) building with a pointy roof and three coffins. One of these coffins, an intricately carved red stone, was alleged to be the tomb of the great king. A large exhibit about the tomb is currently on display this month at the Israel Museum. (Netzer died in 2010 in a fall not far from the excavation site.)

Unfit for a king

Now, Patrich and his colleague Benjamin Arubas, also of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, are claiming the tomb isnít Herodís at all.

The rather modest structure is too small for the master builder to have envisioned for himself, and the poor planning and design are also uncharacteristic, Patrich and Arubas say.

For instance, the building is small compared with other royal tombs of the day.

"These are quite moderate dimensions if you are thinking about a king of the stature of Herod the Great," Patrich said.

Moreover, the tomb has only one pyramid, whereas the tombs of the Hasmoneans ó the royal dynasty that preceded Herod ó have seven pyramids, Patrich said.

In addition, the complex has no gate or courtyard for visitors to come and pay their respects to the departed. Royal tombs at that time had much more elaborate courtyards.

"There is hardly place for 20 people to stand conveniently, and there is no respectable gateway to lead in," Patrich told LiveScience.

Furthermore, the building has an awkward layout, with two staircases above the mausoleum barring entrance to the tomb below on one side, and two shabbily constructed walls on the other side. The complex isnít aligned symmetrically with the axis of the rest of the Herodium complex, Patrich added, a design faux-pas that would have been out of character for Herod.

Finally, the coffins in the tomb were made of local limestone and red stone, not the elaborate marble, or even gold, that would have suited Herodís grand tastes.

[...]


Herod was a King who ruled Judea for the romans until about 4 B.C. During his reign, he oversaw several majestic building projects, including completely rebuilding the Second Temple (shown here as a model). The team argues that such a master planner and builder would never have constructed such a modest and poorly-designed tomb.


Read the full article at: livescience.com




Related Articles


Latest News from our Front Page

Chess-playing computers may cause the robot apocalypse
2014 04 23
Sore-loser chess programs might be the end of us all... In the movie The Terminator, we heard the human side of the story of Judgment Day, with the machines getting smart and seeing us as a threat. It wasnít until the sequel that we heard the tale from the machineís point of view, as it chose to start World War III ...
Archeologistsí findings may prove Rome a century older than thought
2014 04 23
It is already known as the eternal city, and if new archeological findings prove correct Rome may turn out to be even more so than believed until now. Next week, the city will celebrate its official, 2,767th birthday. According to a tradition going back to classic times, the brothers Romulus and Remus founded the city on 21 April in the year ...
Swedish MP ordered chemtrail probe
2014 04 23
A Swedish MP who launched an official government investigation into the existence of chemtrails tells The Local why he thinks Swedes deserve the truth, even if it may leave some conspiracy theorists unsatisfied. "I canít speak for other MPs, but Iíve had many, many calls over the past eight years about chemtrails. And these questions are not so easy to answer," ...
Mystery of Bizarre Duck-Like Ocean Sound
2014 04 23
If it quacks like a duck... itís not always a duck. Scientists have reportedly gotten to the bottom of the mysterious íBio-Duckí sound in the Antarctic. Hereís a recording of the strange sound (itís kind of a stretch to say it sounds like a duck, but who are we to second guess the biologists?). --- Mystery of Bizarre Duck-Like Ocean Sound Solved By Tanya Lewis ...
íExtremeí Carbon Dioxide Reduction will be a Death Sentence for Humanity & Planet Earth
2014 04 23
If we allow a fraudulent pseudo-environmentalist cult to control every aspect of our lives then our children are doomed to a totalitarian existence which Stalin could only have dreamed of. ďThe common enemy of humanity is man. In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine ...
More News Ľ