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New Masada expedition gets underway

Archaeologists and Tel Aviv University students start month-long excavation of rebel dwellings, Herod’s gardens at UNESCO World Heritage site.

Archaeologists and Tel Aviv University students today kicked off a month-long excavation atop Masada, the first Israeli site to qualify for the UNESCO World Heritage List (in 2001). The winter expedition, running February 5 – March 3, 2017, marks the first time excavations have resumed on the mountain since 2006. “Though Masada has been subject to several seasons of excavation, a great deal remains to be investigated,” Guy Stiebel, doctor of archaeology at Tel Aviv University and a Masada expert, writes on a blog dedicated to the Masada Expedition.

“The 2017 expedition will invest in the integration of a broad range of archaeological sciences and excavation methods. Amongst others, we will excavate sections of the rebels’ dwellings, and the as yet unexcavated garden of King Herod. Our intention is to further explore a mysterious underground structure that was detected in the earliest aerial photographs of the site (1924). The building has remained hitherto unexplored,” he writes.

The excavations atop Masada are under the auspices of Tel Aviv University. Tel Aviv University students are taking part in the fieldwork alongside archaeologists. The archaeological team is also posting updates and photos from the site on its Facebook page.

Viva Sarah Press