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Masada Fortress
The ancient fortress of Masada is located near the western shore of the Dead Sea about ten miles south of the town of En-gedi. Situated on top of a cliff rising over 1,200 feet above the surrounding desert, the fortress was originally constructed during the reign of Alexander Jannaeus (10376 BCE) and later extensively expanded under Herod the Great (374 BCE), who added two luxurious palaces, a Roman bathhouse, twelve huge cisterns, and a number of other structures.

Masada was first systematically excavated between 1963 and 1965 by a team under the direction of Yigael Yadin. The excavations uncovered evidence of occupation from the time of Jannaeus through the Byzantine era, including a period of habitation by the Jewish rebels. During the first season of excavation, a structure that Yadin subsequently identified as a synagogue was uncovered in the northwestern section of the upper plateau of the fortress. Built into the casemate wall that circles the plateau, the rectangular building measures 15 x 12 meters and was constructed in two distinct phases

The first phase, dated to the period of Herod, was possibly used as a stable. Upon occupying the fortress, the rebels transformed the building into a synagogue, adding benches along the walls, with columns intervening between the seating and the center of the hall--a configuration characteristic of the Galilean-type synagogue. Fragments of Deuteronomy and Ezekiel scrolls were discovered in a back room, which appears to have been the temporary residence of an attendant, quite possibly a priest

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Photo Information
  • Copyright: Ricardo Centellas (riceal) Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 25 W: 1 N: 49] (319)
  • Genre: Luoghi
  • Medium: Colore
  • Date Taken: 2011-03-27
  • Categories: Architettura
  • Esposizione: f/8.8, 1/350 secondi
  • More Photo Info: view
  • Versione Foto: Versione Originale
  • Date Submitted: 2011-05-29 2:53
Viewed: 2567
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Additional Photos by Ricardo Centellas (riceal) Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 25 W: 1 N: 49] (319)
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