Hebrew University: Herod's tomb and grave found at Herodium
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem announced Monday night that it has uncovered the grave and tomb of King Herod, who ruled Judea for the Roman empire from circa 37 BCE.
According to a press release from the Hebrew University, the news of the archeological find at Herodium was to be announced Tuesday morning at a special news conference, and was to be kept secret until then, but the discovery by Haaretz of the story had led to the premature announcement.
The tomb was discovered by Hebrew University Professor Ehud Netzer, who is considered one of the leading experts on King Herod. Netzer has conducted archaeological digs at Herodium since 1972 in an attempt to locate the grave and tomb.
The discovery solves one of Israel's greatest archaeological mysteries. Additional details will be made available at the Tuesday press conference.
The majority of researchers had believed that Herod was in fact buried at Herodium, based on the writings of the ancient Jewish historian Flavius Josephus, but multiple excavations at the site failed to locate the grave.
Netzer's successful dig focused on a different part of the site than previous excavations, between the upper part of Herodium and the site's two palaces.
Herodium, a fortified palace built by Herod some 12 kilometers south of Jerusalem, was destroyed by the Romans in 71 CE.
Herod, whose father and grandfather converted to Judaism, was appointed governor of Galilee at the age of 25 and was made "King of the Jews" by the Roman senate in approximately 40 BCE. He remained king for around 34 years.
Herod, also known as Herod the Great, is credited with expanding the Second Temple and building Caesarea, Masada, and many other monumental construction projects. He died in the year 4 BCE in Jericho after a long illness...
At Herodium, Herod built one of the largest monarchical complexes in the Roman Empire, which served as a residential palace, a sanctuary, an administrative center and a mausoleum.
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