Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Herod the Great's Tomb Discovered

It must be the year for tombs. Ehud Netzer, a very fine archaeologist indeed from Hebrew University, after working on the excavation at the Herodium outside Bethlehem for years has now reported that the tomb of Herod the Great has likely been found. Bits of an elaborate sarcophagus were found but no bones were in it, and Netzer theorizes that the tomb was desecrated perhaps during the Jewish war in the 60s.

Here is the link to the article in HaAretz, the Jerusalem newspaper--

Why should we believe this claim after the bogus one about the tomb of Jesus? In the first place the locale is right. The Herodium was a fortress which Herod built near Jerusalem so he would have a place to flee to in a hurry if an enemy was closing in. It is a fascinating site which involved the feat of shaving off several hills in order to build up the one on top of which this fortress is perched. There is also the fact that this claim by Netzer comports with what Josephus tells us about the demise of Herod the not so Great.

Stay tuned for further developments.

Maybe next we will find the tomb of Abraham. Oh wait, I'm going to the cave of Abraham in Haran in Turkey in two weeks. I'll let you know what I find.


Unknown said...

Netzer continues to have the best instincts in the field of arcaeology. I had the pleasure of attending a lecture he gave on his finds from the Bar Cochba revolt; The great number and the great quality of his discoveries never fail to impress me.

Ben Witherington said...

I agree. He is someone who can be trusted and is believable.

Ben W.

The Vegas Art Guy said...

He must love what he does if he spent 35 years doing it! It will be interesting to see what else turns up there. Have a safe trip.

Joel Gorveatte said...

I'll anxiously await the Discovery Channel expose where they prove from Herod's tomb that he was really a good guy who was just misunderstood! Maybe they can even do DNA testing to prove that he was married to the Magdalene...

Mark Clark said...


I am going to Turkey in three weeks! We are spending some time with one of young adults who are there doing min.

We are staying in Istanbul and then going to down to Ephesus for a day or so...what are your plans?