May 08, 2007 07:49 AM
STEVE WEIZMAN Associated Press
JERUSALEM — An Israeli archaeologist on Tuesday said he has found the tomb of King Herod, the legendary builder of ancient Jerusalem and the Holy Land.
Hebrew University archaeologist Ehud Netzer said the tomb was found at Herodium, a flattened hilltop in the Judean Desert where Herod built a palace compound. Netzer has been working at the site since the 1970s.
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King Herod's tomb may have been found
By STEVE WEIZMAN,
Associated Press Writer
Tue May 8, 8:38 AM ET
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.
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Update 5/9/07: Don't miss the SBL story with several pictures and pictoral depictions. Nicely done.
I well remember the very hot June day that I visited the Herodium in the Judean wilderness with a study group. About two thirds of the way up the high man-made mound we came upon a bombed out guard shack. The bombing had occurred during the night prior to our arrival.
My wife and I thought that we had brought a sufficient supply of drinking water for the day. However, we began to run low, so we bought some bottled water from a vendor in Bethlehem. It was the only bottle of water that we purchased and ingested that was imported from Eqypt. We came to regret that decision. Despite being very cautious about ingesting water, I later developed horrible symptoms that, upon testing, my physician diagnosed as giardiasis once I had returned home to the states. My flight home was long and miserable. My digestive tract began to function as if it were a straight pipe without any baffles at all. I began to dehydrate. My senses became confused. I had a horrible taste in my mouth, the taste of aluminum. My eyesight blurred. Balance was difficult. I laid in bed day after day. I began to feel like I wanted to die. I took a heavy regimen of antibiotics which finally, after two weeks, purged the giardia. I was left weak and much thinner. I lost a month of productivity. I grew a beard because I was too weak to stand to shave. Thus, I owe the present existence of my beard to those little flagellated parasites that inhabited my intenstines for a few unforgettable weeks following my visit to Bethlehem and to the Herodium. My wife never developed symptoms. Such is the way with giardia. They affect different humans differently. I was the unfortunate one in that case.
More information about the Herodium than you wanted?