Saturday, September 28, 2019

Israel Day 5 - Masada - Part 3 - The Gatehouse, Commander's Residence, and Storerooms

Masada is a large fortress atop the mountain, featuring the remains of not one, but two palaces built by Herod, as well as storehouses, a Roman bathhouse, a complex water cistern system, and a synagogue.

Arriving at the summit, from the cable car you get out at the northeastern part of the eastern wall.

You see the Snakepath gatehouse first.

Plaster over 2,00 years old remains in quantities to make you imagine how the entire room once appeared.

The black line shows the area of the wall restored after the archeological excavations, below the black line is the structure as found. Masada is in an active earthquake zone and an ancient earthquakes damaged the walls and structures in many areas of the fortress.

There were several watchtowers along the walls.

Next we saw the commandant's residence, complete with walls still painted in their original colors as discovered in the excavation in 1963-1965 by Yigael Yadin and as recounted in his excellent book on the subject.

The residence had multiple large rooms:

An opening in the wall of the commander's residence,that could have been an ancient window, showing one of the Roman Siege Camps below.

The residence also had a small room or alcove with columns supporting the roof:

Not a bad sized residence in return for commanding a fortress in a rather desolate dessert region.

Next we visited the large storerooms

These rooms held food and supplies for the garrison and later the Zealots- Weapons, armor, grains, dates and other foodstuffs filled these rooms.

A date seed excavated from the storerooms on Masada was recently sprouted and created a date tree, of a type long thought to be extinct.

Next stop: The Roman Baths of Masada


MrGarabaldi said...

Hey Aaron;

Wow, those are good pics and thanks for sharing.

Aaron said...

MrGarabaldi: You're welcome, many more to come.