archaeological site

31°18′56″N 35°21′14″E / 31.31556°N 35.35389°E / 31.31556; 35.35389

an aerial view of masada

Masada (in Hebrew: מצדה - metsada means: fortress) is an archaeological site,[1][2] and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Masada is an ancient fortification in the Southern District of Israel. It is on top of an isolated rock plateau, like a mesa. The rock is on the east of the Judaean Desert, and overlooks the Dead Sea.

Herod the Great fortified Masada between 37 and 31 BC, and built palaces for himself on the mountain.

According to Josephus, the Sicarii, a splinter group of the Hebrew Zealots, held out against a Roman legion here. This was the Siege of Masada at the end of the First Jewish–Roman War. The seige ended in the mass suicide of 960 people – the rebels and their families.[3][4]

The hill is 63 meters above the sea level and 450 above the dead sea level near Mount Elazar.


  1. World Heritage Sites. [1]
  2. "Photographs & footage of the Yadin excavations". Archived from the original on 2008-01-17. Retrieved 2016-06-18.
  3. Stiebel, Guy D. 2007. "Masada." Encyclopaedia Judaica. (eds) Michael Berenbaum and Fred Skolnik. 2nd ed, vol 13. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, p593–599. Gale Virtual Reference Library.
  4. Ben-Yuda, Nachman 2000. The Bible and interpretation: the Masada myth Archived 2016-06-02 at the Wayback Machine

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