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Masada Museum

The Masada Museum features 500 artifacts that were discovered during the archeological digs Masada in the Judean Desert between 1963 and 1965.

The artifacts are displayed in illuminated showcases over nine theatrical scenes that focus on three main themes of the Masada story: Herod, the Rebels, and the Roman Army.

The objects are displayed as they existed and were used based on the historical accounts told in the writings of Flavius Josephus.

The the story begins with ‘meeting’ Josephus in his garden in Rome.

Then, goes back to the ruling period of King Herod, builder of Masada, through the Great Revolt against Rome, when the rebels lived on the mountaintop, to the Roman siege and the fall of Masada.

The story ends in the final space of the museum dedicated to the excavator of the site, Professor Yigael Yadin to whom this museum is dedicated.

The museum is divided into nine different spaces according to their archaeological and historical content.

Each section contains historically accurate three-dimensional scenery including sculpted figures, architectural details, floor, and walls.

In order to tells Masada’s story in its historical context, with the political and military context, the exhibits are arranged around three main centers: Herod, the rebels, and the Roman army.

In one display, there is a stone table and luxurious tablewares – along with inscriptions on the types of wine and a variety of delicacies that at Herod’s table – against the background of a banquet scene held in a Roman villa.

Another area, depicts the rebels’ dwellings with simple cooking utensils, remnants of clothes, straw baskets, brushes and Hebrew inscriptions and tells of the daily life of the Jewish fighters and their families at Masada.

The third section relates to the Roman army and is displayed against the backdrop of an army camp of the Tenth Legion that laid siege to Masada.

Objects exhibited include Roman arrowheads, a leather sandal once worn by a woman rebel, the remains of Roman-era dates, wheat, barley and olives, and 11 pot shards, each inscribed with a name that may have been used to choose the 10 men assigned the task of taking everyone’s lives.

As well as, original frescoes and columns from the Northern Palace and a mosaic floor fragment from the Western Palace.

Visiting The Masada Museum

Unless you’re doing a sunrise climb up Masada (before the museum opens), this museum is a good first stop.

Visitors receive an audio headset, available in eight languages, giving the historical account found in the writings of Flavius Josephus.

The museum is located at the cable car station.

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