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Published: December 3rd 2005
We drove towards the Dead Sea and drove along it's coast for several miles before reaching the desert fortress of Masada. I would have loved to climb up the snake path but with a group our size, it would have taken us all day, so we all climbed into a cable car instead.
The top of Masada is huge! We spent several hours up there and only saw part
of the nothern half! The history of Masada covers two distinctly different periods. Herod build a tiered palace on the northern side. The nature-defying contained all the comforts of civilized western culture, including a roman bath! How he got the water up there is mind-blowing.
Seventy years later, during the Jewish uprising and the destruction of Jerusalem by Rome, Masada was transformed into a desert fortress by zealots. On the western side of Masada, you can see the massive outline of the Roman encampment and the seige ramp that they built. They pushed their huge battering rams up the hills and breached the western walls, wresting Masada from Jewish hands.
The contrast between the two periods is shown really obviously. Herod had all the luxaries of home, but when
View From Below
Excuse the power lines...those weren't there originally
the zealots came along, they disregarded Herod's incredible modern features and chic decor. They were thinking practical. They didn't need a roman bath, they needed a mikvah. So they put on in, chipping away at corners of mosaics and covering over intricately painted plaster walls.
Sorry, that just seems funny to me...
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