Archaeology Magazine

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Who Is Buried in Herod’s Tomb?

Friday, October 18, 2013

Herodium Israel Aerial-m(Asaf T., Public Domain)JERUSALEM, ISRAEL—Further investigation of a tomb identified in 2007 as belonging to Herod the Great suggests that it was too modest to have belonged to the king. Archaeologists Joseph Patrich and Benjamin Arubas of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem think that the structure’s awkward layout and its three coffins—two made with local limestone and one with red stone—are at odds with Herod’s style and reputation as a master builder. Patrich thinks the tomb may have been left in place when Herod constructed the Herodium on top of other buildings in the desert outside of Jerusalem. Perhaps the person buried there was a close family member who was “very dear to Herod,” he said.