Tomb of Herod discovered

Eventually, things come to light. 

(AP/FOX NEWS) JERUSALEM —  An Israeli archaeologist has found the tomb of King Herod, the legendary builder of ancient Jerusalem and the Holy Land, Hebrew University said late Monday.

The tomb is at a site called Herodium, a flattened hilltop in the Judean Desert, clearly visible from southern Jerusalem. Herod built a palace on the hill, and researchers discovered his burial site there, the university said.

The university had hoped to keep the find a secret until Tuesday, when it planned a news conference to disclose the find in detail, but the Haaretz newspaper found out about the discovery and published an article on its Web site.

Herod became the ruler of the Holy Land under the Romans around 74 B.C. The wall he built around the Old City of Jerusalem still stands, and he also ordered big construction projects in Caesaria, Jericho, the hilltop fortress of Massada and other sites.

It has long been assumed Herod was buried at Herodium, but decades of excavations had failed to turn up the site. The 1st century historian Josephus Flavius described the tomb and Herod’s funeral procession.

Haaretz said the tomb was found by archaeologist Ehud Netzer, a Hebrew University professor who has been working at Herodium since 1972. The paper said the tomb was in a previously unexplored area between the two palaces Herod built on the site. Herod died in 4 B.C. in Jericho.

Herodium was one of the last strong points held by Jewish rebels fighting against the Romans, and it was conquered and destroyed by Roman troops in A.D. 71, a year after they destroyed the Second Temple in Jerusalem.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in SESSIUNCULA. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Jordan Potter says:

    The article has a fact error: Herod did NOT become ruler of the Holy Land under the Romans around 74 B.C. He wasn’t even born until 73 B.C., and he first appears in history as the Governor of Galilee around 48 B.C., when he was 25 years old. In 74 B.C. the ruler of Judaea was Queen Alexandra Salome, and although Herod was granted the crown of Judaea by the Romans in 40 B.C., it wasn’t until 37-36 B.C. that he finally overpowered the last Hasmonaean king Antigonus and murdered him.

    As for 4 B.C. as the traditional date of Herod’s death, I used to accept that date until I read astronomer John Pratt’s article here:

    Although I don’t buy Pratt’s theory that Jesus was born around the Passover season, he does bring out some excellent arguments that demonstrate that

  2. Jordan Potter says:

    Whoops, I didn’t mean to post that comment yet. Here is the rest of wat I was going to say:

    . . . Herod could not have died in 4 B.C., but must have died no earlier than 1 B.C., perhaps even in A.D. 1. There is simply no plausible way to cram all of the events related by Josephus surrounding Herod’s illness, death, and funeral into just a few short weeks in the spring of 4 B.C. The eclipse of March 13, 4 B.C., is the wrong eclipse.

  3. danphunter1 says:

    Did James Cameron bring his film crew in to discover that Herod was a good friend of Christ and was most likely the,”13th”,apostle?

  4. Sean says:

    I saw a programme on British TV about this Herod a few weeks ago. Lots of lurid details of crazed killings, etc from an uncorroborated Josephus writing in the next century but when it came to the Holy Innocents of the Gospel the programme makers swiftly changed their tune to…Never happened! That is Christian propaganda! Oh the irony.

Comments are closed.