|MASADA King Herod's Fortress Palace, site of Zealots' Last Stand; scale models, reconstructions|
|The beautiful, doomed Hasmonean princess Mariamme fled there, but her husband King Herod killed her anyway. For the dynasty of Herod, see BIBLE PEOPLE: HEROD. The Zealots made their last ditch stand against the Romans at Masada, and then committed mass suicide rather than surrender.|
|A remote hilltop fortress famous for the lavish palace built by Herod the Great, and the Zealots' resistance against the Roman siege in 73AD.|
|Occupying the entire top of a plateau near the southwest coast of the Dead Sea|
|First fortified by the Hasmoneans in circa 100BC, destroyed by the Roman forces after the fall of Jerusalem in 70AD|
These included living quarters, storerooms, a synagogue, a large library, a bath complex, kitchens, etc.
a spectacular view across the valley beneath
2 Triclinium/dining room
4 Bath complex
5 Northern palace
6 Administrative buildings
7 Observation point
9 Casemate wall
10 Spot where the Roman assault ramp reached the wall
11 West entrance
13 Western palace
17 Living quarters
19 Water cistern
20 South fortress
The columns supporting the floor allowed warm air to be circulated under-floor, heating the room above.
(Right) This reconstruction at Masada shows the pipes installed in the wall cavity, to circulate warm air
|Remains of the thermal bath at Masada, with murals still intact|
They filled during the winter with rainwater and could be relied upon in time of siege.
The camp would have been divided into three main areas, for the commander's quarters, for stores and workshops, and for the barracks.
Herod's construction included two ornate palaces, one of which was on three levels, heavy outer walls surrounding the plateau, extensive storehouses, barracks and armory, and aqueducts which brought water to immense cisterns holding nearly 750,000litres (200,000 gallons) of water.