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Home >> Life
UPDATED: 09:13, May 09, 2007
King Herod's tomb unearthed in West Bank
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Photo:Archaeologists believe they have uncovered King Herod's tomb in the West Bank, Israel.
Archaeologists believe they have uncovered King Herod's tomb in the West Bank, Israel.
The tomb of the Roman-anointed "King of the Jews," Herod the Great, who ruled around the time of the birth of Christ, has been found in a hillside in the Judean desert, Israeli media reported on Wednesday.

Hebrew University archaeologist Ehud Netzer said on Tuesday he has found the sarcophagus of the king, who ruled Judea from about 37 BC until his death in 4 BC, had been smashed, most likely by Jews who rebelled against Rome from 66 AD to 72 AD.

Netzer, whose 35-year hunt for the tomb began in 1972, is convinced that he has found it at last. But his team has found no trace of human remains or of the golden crown, sceptre and jewels that Roman historians described Herod being interred with 2,000 years ago.

Herod's tomb had become a mystery because while he was known to have been buried at Herodium, a man-made hill crowned by a palace, the exact location of the burial site was lost.

The burial site, in what is now the Israeli-occupied West Bank, was found more than a month ago at the end of an ancient staircase leading up to the hilltop, Netzer said.

Herod has a special place in biblical history.

He rebuilt the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem and the Gospel of Matthew says he ordered the "Massacre of the Innocents," the killing of male infants in Jesus's birthplace of Bethlehem out of fear of losing his throne to a new "king of the Jews."


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