Friday, 26 December 2014

Entry to Herodian Hilltop Palace unearthed

Hebrew University of Jerusalem archaeologists have discovered a massive and elaborate entryway to the Herodian Hilltop Palace at Herodium National Park in Judea, south of Jerusalem.

The newly discovered entryway is remarkable in that it features a complex system of arches on three separate levels, allowing the King and his entourage to directly enter the Palace Courtyard. Thanks to the arches, the 20-meter long and six-meter wide corridor has held up over the nearly 2,000 years since it was built at a height of 20 meters.

Archaeologists Roi Porat, Yakov Kalman and Rachel Chachy worked on the excavations that were conducted over the past year as part of The Herodium Expedition in Memory of Ehud Netzer, a project in memory of the university's famous professor who found the tomb of Herod the Great and passed away in 2010 after being wounded in a fall at the Herodium site.

According to the three archaeologists who unearthed the find, the corridor was built by King Herod (73-4 BCE) as part of his plan to turn the Herodium site into a fortress palace. However, the dig found evidence that the corridor was never actually used, as Herod apparently was aware he was nearing his death and converted the hilltop complex into a burial monument instead.
Herodian Hilltop Palace entry
Herodian Hilltop Palace entry
The Herodium Expedition at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem