Masada, Israel
International > Israel

Masada, Israel

Masada is an ancient fortification in the Southern District of Israel situated on top of an isolated rock plateau, akin to a mesa, on the eastern edge of the Judaean Desert, overlooking the Dead Sea 20 kilometres east of Arad.

Herod the Great built palaces for himself on the mountain and fortified Masada between 37 and 31 BCE. According to Josephus, the Siege of Masada by troops of the Roman Empire towards the end of the First Jewis-Roman War ended in the mass suicide of 960 people the Sicarii rebels and their families hiding there.

Masada is one of Israel's most popular tourist attractions.
The cliffs on the east edge of Masada are about (1,300 ft) high and the cliffs on the west are about (300 ft) high, the natural approaches to the cliff top are very difficult.

Masada was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001. In 2007, the Masada Museum in Memory of Yigael Yadin opened at the site, in which archeological findings are displayed in a theatrical setting. Many of the artifacts exhibited were unearthed by Yadin and his archaeological team from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem during the 1960s.
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