Israel: Masada

Masada is all that remains of the ancient kingdom built by the Great King of Judaea. This ancient fortification, constructed during King Herod’s reign from 37 BCE to 4CE, resides on the eastern edge of the Judaean Desert. The harsh environmental conditions of the desert serve as a natural deterrent against the rural and urban developmental pressures. The Masada symbolizes the last stand of the Jewish Patriots against the Roman army in 73 AD. Historically rich and untouched, this archaeological site remained undisturbed for 13 centuries until its rediscovery in 1828, though archaeologists did not study the evidence indicating human settlement in the area until the 1960s. Historical clues suggest that the palace used a sophisticated irrigation system. Runoff water collected from a day’s worth of rain was enough to sustain the lives of thousands of people for several years. The ancient kingdom of Israel provides prime examples of the Ancient Roman architectural style.