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Archaeologist Finds Tomb Of King Herod


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Wednesday, May 9, 2007, 1:00AM

Archaeologist finds tomb of King Herod

 

 

By STEVE WEIZMAN Associated Press Writer

© 2007 The Associated Press

 

 

JERUSALEM — An Israeli archaeologist on Tuesday said he has found remnants of the tomb of King Herod, the legendary builder of ancient Jerusalem, on a flattened hilltop in the Judean Desert where the biblical monarch built a palace. Hebrew University archaeologist Ehud Netzer said the tomb was found at Herodium, a site where he has been exploring since the 1970s.

 

Netzer said a team of researchers found pieces of a limestone sarcophagus believed to belong to the ancient king. Although there were no bones in the container, he said the sarcophagus' location and ornate appearance indicated it is Herod's.

 

"It's a sarcophagus we don't just see anywhere," Netzer said at a news conference. "It is something very special."

 

Netzer led the team, although he said he was not on the site when the sarcophagus was found.

 

Stephen Pfann, an expert in the Second Temple period at the University of the Holy Land, called the find a "major discovery by all means," but cautioned further research is needed.

 

He said all signs indicate the tomb belongs to Herod, but said ruins with an inscription on it were needed for full verification.

 

"We're moving in the right direction. It will be clinched once we have an inscription that bears his name," said Pfann, a textual scholar who did not participate in Netzer's dig.

 

The fragments of carved limestone found at the sandy site are decorated with floral motives, but do not include any inscriptions.

 

Herod became the ruler of the Holy Land under the Romans around 40 B.C. The wall he built around the Old City of Jerusalem during the time of the Jewish Second Temple is the one that can be seen today. He also undertook massive construction projects in Caesaria, Jericho, the hilltop fortress of Massada and other locations.

 

It has long been assumed that Herod was buried at Herodium, but decades of excavations failed to turn up the site until now. The first century historian Josephus Flavius described the tomb and Herod's funeral procession.

 

Herodium was one of the last strong points held by Jewish rebels fighting against the Romans, and it was conquered and destroyed by Roman forces in A.D. 71, a year after they destroyed the Second Temple in Jerusalem.

 

Hebrew University had hoped to keep the find a secret until Netzer's news conference on Tuesday. But the university announced the find in a brief statement late Monday after the Haaretz daily found out about the discovery and published an article on its Web site.

 

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/world/4784573.html

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The way I heard it on the news, it was decided that the tomb MUST belong to Herod but there was no evidence that it actually did belong to him.

 

this reads like the way i interpreted it. how in the hell can we allow this monkey business to continue?

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most archaeology in Palestine is politicised, since there are so many special interest groups involved out there, from Jews wanting to prove the OT to more Bible colleges than you can wave a stick at to a near permanent Jesuit presence since the 1930s...

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Stephen Pfann, an expert in the Second Temple period at the University of the Holy Land, called the find a "major discovery by all means," but cautioned further research is needed.

 

He said all signs indicate the tomb belongs to Herod, but said ruins with an inscription on it were needed for full verification.

 

"We're moving in the right direction. It will be clinched once we have an inscription that bears his name," said Pfann, a textual scholar who did not participate in Netzer's dig.

This part tells me that the people doing the dig are actually trying to do their jobs despite the world around them.

 

It wouldn't surprise me if this is his tomb. He wasn't ever accepted as their king despite all his (debatable) efforts to do so. Once the rebels took hold of the place during the war it wouldn't be unreasonable to think that they would destroy his tomb even with the problems they were facing with the Romans at the time. The things I've read haven't come right out and said that but considering how they do describe things it sounds like something happened to it.

 

Maybe they should just make a television show called "Herod's Tomb Found!" and that would be the end of the discussion? It would also mean he tried to kill baby jesus too (just because).

 

mwc

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