Biblical Archaeology Review 9:3, May/June 1983

Searching for Herod’s Tomb

Somewhere in the desert palace-fortress at Herodium, Palestine’s master builder was buried

By Ehud Netzer

Dedicated to the memory of David Rosenfeld.a

I had no idea of searching for Herod’s tomb when I began my archaeological work at Herodium. But I confess it has now become something of a minor obsession with me. Whether I will eventually achieve my goal is still an open question, but the search itself is instructive and enjoyable. Although I cannot, in all honesty, conceal my desire to find the tomb of the Holy Land’s greatest builder, I shall nevertheless consider myself richly rewarded even if I continue to fail.

We know that Herod was buried at Herodium because Josephus tells us so.1 On a matter such as this, there is no reason to doubt the accuracy of this well-known, first-century Jewish historian, who was born in Palestine about 40 years after Herod’s death in 4 B.C.

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