Masada

31.315556,35.353611

Masada is the dramatic ruin of a lavish fortified palace on a plateau overlooking the Dead Sea that was built by Herod the Great between 37 and 31 BCE. From 66 to 73 CE, the fortress would be the home of the final Jewish holdouts in a revolt against Rome. That final stand takes on contemporary Zionist symbolism as, reputedly, Israeli Defense Forces soldiers that complete basic training are sworn in on the sight in a ceremony that ends with the declaration, "Masada shall not fall again."

The construction of such a facility (including bathhouses) in such a desolate place is testament to both the skill and the audacity of the Romans. Perhaps the most notable engineering feat was the creation of series of lower level dams and cisterns that permitted capture of brief seasonal floods to provide water for year-round use on the plateau. But the fact that the Romans could mobilize and compel enough surplus slave labor to survive the harshness of the construction environment and build such a frivolity is also remarkable. The fact that a group of Jews would rather die here than submit to Roman rule may be testament to how horrible that rule was, and/or how uniquely committed the Jewish people have been to preserving their own identity.

Masada - Masada
05/27/2011 10:30:00
Masada
Masada - Visitor center
05/27/2011 10:32:40
Visitor center
Masada - Masada
05/27/2011 10:33:38
Masada
Masada - Opera theatre
05/27/2011 10:35:20
Opera theatre
Masada - Masada National Park
05/27/2011 10:36:30
Masada National Park
Masada - Entering visitor center
05/27/2011 10:36:54
Entering visitor center
Masada - Model
05/27/2011 10:41:26
Model
Masada - Admission prices
05/27/2011 10:43:54
Admission prices
Masada - Visitor center
05/27/2011 10:46:56
Visitor center
Masada - Visitor center
05/27/2011 10:48:08
Visitor center
Masada - Tram
05/27/2011 11:01:52
Tram
Masada - Tram pulley
05/27/2011 11:02:00
Tram pulley
Masada - Cable up to Masada
05/27/2011 11:02:12
Cable up to Masada
Masada - Cable up to Masada
05/27/2011 11:02:20
Cable up to Masada
Masada - Tram
05/27/2011 11:08:14
Tram
Masada - Control panel
05/27/2011 11:08:28
Control panel
Masada - Snake path
05/27/2011 11:09:24
Snake path
Masada - Wadi
05/27/2011 11:09:44
Wadi
Masada - Snake path
05/27/2011 11:09:54
Snake path
Masada - Tram
05/27/2011 11:10:18
Tram
Masada - Tram info
05/27/2011 11:12:36
Tram info
Masada - Snake path
05/27/2011 11:13:42
Snake path
Masada - Cables down to visitor center
05/27/2011 11:13:54
Cables down to visitor center
Masada - Bridge from tram
05/27/2011 11:14:22
Bridge from tram
Masada - Snake path
05/27/2011 11:14:46
Snake path
Masada - Opera theatre
05/27/2011 11:15:12
Opera theatre
Masada - Cables down to visitor center
05/27/2011 11:15:36
Cables down to visitor center
Masada - Valley
05/27/2011 11:16:00
Valley
Masada - Snake path gate info
05/27/2011 11:16:56
Snake path gate info
Masada - Tourists
05/27/2011 11:17:04
Tourists
Masada - Tourists
05/27/2011 11:17:20
Tourists
Masada - Stairs up to palace
05/27/2011 11:18:58
Stairs up to palace
Masada - Looking southwest from the palace
05/27/2011 11:19:18
Looking southwest from the palace
Masada - Climbing to the palace
05/27/2011 11:21:08
Climbing to the palace
Masada - Dead tree
05/27/2011 11:21:14
Dead tree
Masada - Black line marks point of reconstruction
05/27/2011 11:21:52
Black line marks point of reconstruction
Masada - Reconstruction line
05/27/2011 11:23:08
Reconstruction line
Masada - Tzachi
05/27/2011 11:23:14
Tzachi
Masada - Western Palace
05/27/2011 11:23:36
Western Palace
Masada - Quarry sign
05/27/2011 11:22:34
Quarry sign
Masada - Quarry
05/27/2011 11:22:42
Quarry
Masada - Quarry
05/27/2011 11:26:18
Quarry
Masada - The group
05/27/2011 11:26:22
The group
Masada - Commandant's Residence
05/27/2011 11:26:34
Commandant's Residence
Masada - Commandant's Residence
05/27/2011 11:26:44
Commandant's Residence
Masada - Commandant's Residence
05/27/2011 11:27:00
Commandant's Residence
Masada - Commandant's Residence
05/27/2011 11:28:28
Commandant's Residence
Masada - Surviving wall painting
05/27/2011 11:28:56
Surviving wall painting
Masada - Surviving wall painting
05/27/2011 11:29:06
Surviving wall painting
Masada - Commandant's Residence
05/27/2011 11:29:30
Commandant's Residence
Masada - Main entrance square
05/27/2011 11:30:30
Main entrance square
Masada - Main entrance square
05/27/2011 11:30:40
Main entrance square
Masada - Storerooms
05/27/2011 11:31:04
Storerooms
Masada - Model view from west
05/27/2011 11:31:28
Model view from west
Masada - Model view from northwest
05/27/2011 11:31:46
Model view from northwest
Masada - Life in a fortified palace
05/27/2011 11:33:36
Life in a fortified palace
Masada - Model view from northeast
05/27/2011 11:33:48
Model view from northeast
Masada - Storerooms complex
05/27/2011 11:36:54
Storerooms complex
Masada - Escaping the sun
05/27/2011 11:37:10
Escaping the sun
Masada - Storerooms complex
05/27/2011 11:38:58
Storerooms complex
Masada - Storerooms complex
05/27/2011 11:39:40
Storerooms complex
Masada - Storerooms complex
05/27/2011 11:39:46
Storerooms complex
Masada - Large bathhouse
05/27/2011 11:41:20
Large bathhouse
Masada - Wall painting
05/27/2011 11:35:58
Wall painting
Masada - Bathing info
05/27/2011 11:41:36
Bathing info
Masada - Bathhouse model
05/27/2011 11:42:08
Bathhouse model
Masada - Bathhouse map
05/27/2011 11:43:30
Bathhouse map
Masada - Cold room
05/27/2011 11:45:54
Cold room
Masada - Cold room
05/27/2011 11:46:04
Cold room
Masada - Bathhouse
05/27/2011 11:47:16
Bathhouse
Masada - Bathhouse
05/27/2011 11:47:22
Bathhouse
Masada - Suspended floor pillars
05/27/2011 11:49:04
Suspended floor pillars
Masada - Tzachi
05/27/2011 11:50:14
Tzachi
Masada - Suspended floor reconstruction
05/27/2011 11:51:24
Suspended floor reconstruction
Masada - Bathhouse
05/27/2011 11:51:38
Bathhouse
Masada - Leaving the bathhouse
05/27/2011 11:52:22
Leaving the bathhouse
Masada - Furnace
05/27/2011 11:53:00
Furnace
Masada - Architectural remnants
05/27/2011 11:53:20
Architectural remnants
Masada - Discovery of the lots
05/27/2011 11:53:26
Discovery of the lots
Masada - Pathway
05/27/2011 11:53:30
Pathway
Masada - Pathway
05/27/2011 11:54:04
Pathway
Masada - Discovery of the lots
05/27/2011 11:55:26
Discovery of the lots
Masada - Catapult stones
05/27/2011 11:55:34
Catapult stones
Masada - Catapult stones
05/27/2011 11:57:24
Catapult stones
Masada - Upper terrace
05/27/2011 12:04:20
Upper terrace
Masada - Upper terrace
05/27/2011 12:07:30
Upper terrace
Masada - Upper terrace
05/27/2011 12:07:52
Upper terrace
Masada - Upper terrace
05/27/2011 12:07:58
Upper terrace
Masada - Upper terrace
05/27/2011 12:08:36
Upper terrace
Masada - Upper terrace
05/27/2011 12:08:50
Upper terrace
Masada - Upper terrace
05/27/2011 12:09:18
Upper terrace
Masada - Wadi
05/27/2011 12:09:38
Wadi
Masada - Remnants of Roman encampment
05/27/2011 12:09:44
Remnants of Roman encampment
Masada - Upper terrace
05/27/2011 12:10:14
Upper terrace
Masada - Model of northern palace
05/27/2011 12:11:06
Model of northern palace
Masada - Looking down at the northern palace
05/27/2011 12:11:44
Looking down at the northern palace
Masada - Looking south at the storeroom complex
05/27/2011 12:12:52
Looking south at the storeroom complex
Masada - Heading west
05/27/2011 12:14:48
Heading west
Masada - Stairs down to northern palace
05/27/2011 12:15:14
Stairs down to northern palace
Masada - Western entrance square
05/27/2011 12:15:38
Western entrance square
Masada - Grackels?
05/27/2011 12:16:46
Grackels?
Masada - Pidgeon
05/27/2011 12:20:56
Pidgeon
Masada - Guard room
05/27/2011 12:23:30
Guard room
Masada - Guard room
05/27/2011 12:23:38
Guard room
Masada - Walking south
05/27/2011 12:23:48
Walking south
Masada - Pathways
05/27/2011 12:24:10
Pathways
Masada - Cistern
05/27/2011 12:24:20
Cistern
Masada - Cistern
05/27/2011 12:25:12
Cistern
Masada - Overlooking cistern
05/27/2011 12:25:30
Overlooking cistern
Masada - Cistern
05/27/2011 12:25:42
Cistern
Masada - Cistern
05/27/2011 12:26:02
Cistern
Masada - Cistern
05/27/2011 12:26:10
Cistern
Masada - Model of wadi and lower cisterns
05/27/2011 12:27:34
Model of wadi and lower cisterns
Masada - Model
05/27/2011 12:28:54
Model
Masada - Model
05/27/2011 12:30:48
Model
Masada - Map of water system
05/27/2011 12:31:04
Map of water system
Masada - Path to northern palace
05/27/2011 12:32:06
Path to northern palace
Masada - Walking south
05/27/2011 12:33:34
Walking south
Masada - Roman siege ramp
05/27/2011 12:34:02
Roman siege ramp
Masada - Pottery
05/27/2011 12:35:00
Pottery
Masada - Resting
05/27/2011 12:35:16
Resting
Masada - The synagogue
05/27/2011 12:35:36
The synagogue
Masada - The synagogue
05/27/2011 12:36:12
The synagogue
Masada - The synagogue
05/27/2011 12:36:30
The synagogue
Masada - Stables
05/27/2011 12:43:22
Stables
Masada - Stables
05/27/2011 12:43:40
Stables
Masada - Stables
05/27/2011 12:44:18
Stables
Masada - Casemate of the scrolls
05/27/2011 12:44:42
Casemate of the scrolls
Masada - Casemate of the scrolls
05/27/2011 12:44:28
Casemate of the scrolls
Masada - Stables
05/27/2011 12:45:02
Stables
Masada - Columbarium
05/27/2011 12:45:18
Columbarium
Masada - Columbarium
05/27/2011 12:45:22
Columbarium
Masada - Columbarium nests for birds
05/27/2011 12:45:28
Columbarium nests for birds
Masada - Columbarium
05/27/2011 12:45:32
Columbarium
Masada - Columbarium
05/27/2011 12:45:58
Columbarium
Masada - Columbarium
05/27/2011 12:46:12
Columbarium
Masada - Columbarium
05/27/2011 12:46:18
Columbarium
Masada - Breaching point
05/27/2011 12:46:40
Breaching point
Masada - Roman siege ramp
05/27/2011 12:47:00
Roman siege ramp
Masada - Catapult stones
05/27/2011 12:47:06
Catapult stones
Masada - Looking west
05/27/2011 12:47:32
Looking west
Masada - Byzantine church
05/27/2011 12:47:38
Byzantine church
Masada - Byzantine church
05/27/2011 12:48:16
Byzantine church
Masada - Byzantine church
05/27/2011 12:48:36
Byzantine church
Masada - Byzantine church
05/27/2011 12:48:48
Byzantine church
Masada - Headed back down
05/27/2011 12:49:46
Headed back down
Masada - Israeli flag at Masada
05/27/2011 12:51:06
Israeli flag at Masada
Masada - Mom
05/27/2011 12:52:06
Mom
Masada - Water channel?
05/27/2011 12:54:18
Water channel?
Masada - Reboarding the tram
05/27/2011 12:58:32
Reboarding the tram
Masada - The tram
05/27/2011 12:58:50
The tram
Masada - Cables down to visitor center
05/27/2011 13:00:50
Cables down to visitor center
Masada - Moving cable track
05/27/2011 13:01:52
Moving cable track
Masada - Exiting the tram
05/27/2011 13:04:00
Exiting the tram
Masada - Exiting the tram
05/27/2011 13:04:28
Exiting the tram
Masada - Back on the bus
05/27/2011 13:11:56
Back on the bus
Masada - Visitor center
05/27/2011 13:14:06
Visitor center
Masada - Masada
05/27/2011 13:14:18
Masada
Masada - Masada
05/27/2011 13:14:28
Masada
Masada - Opera theatre
05/27/2011 13:15:28
Opera theatre
Masada - Masada
05/27/2011 13:17:46
Masada

The Enlightenment is dead, Marxism is dead, the working class movement is dead...and the author does not feel very well either. (Neil Smith)