Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Herod’s Tomb Reported Found

Has the tomb of Herod the Great been found? It looks like it may have been. A Los Angeles Times article by Ken Ellingwood titled Israeli claims site is Herod's tomb has the details.

Ellingwood wrote, "For more than three decades, Israeli archaeologist Ehud Netzer scraped at the ancient, human-built hillock. He searched the top. He dug at the bottom. Finally, Netzer carved into the midsection and there, he claims, found his prize: the grave of Herod the Great. The evidence, in the form of shards of decorative stonework that may have been a coffin and pieces of a structure thought to have been the mausoleum, is still far from ironclad proof. Archaeologists have not found a body. Nor is there any written confirmation yet that King Herod, who ruled with Roman backing 2,000 years ago, was buried in that spot."

Herod was a pro-Roman King who owed his throne to Rome. He is known both for his large expansion of the Second Temple in Jerusalem which is often referred to as Herod's Temple as well as his widely written about cruelty in has last years. Many Jews resented him. During the Great Jewish Revolt over 70 years after his death, Jewish rebels destroyed his tomb and it was lost to history.

"This is really quite a striking discovery," said James Strange, a professor of religion at the University of South Florida. "This is the very first king of Israel whose tomb we have ever found. We have some other candidates, but the tombs are all empty. If they really have kingly artifacts," then it will stand as a major discovery.

The picture above is The Taking of Jerusalem by Herod the Great, 36 BC, by Jean Fouquet, painted in the late 15th century.

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