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Saturday, April 13, 2013

Herod the Great: The Man and His Mausoleum

Was King Herod really such a bad guy or did he have the wrong PR agent? What did he look like? Was he a cruel tyrant or a shrewd politician? What do we really know about him?

King Herod the Great
Herod (Getty Images)
Some of these questions can be answered at the world's first exhibit on Herod the Great which opened in February 2013 at the Israel Museum - Herod the Great: The King's Final Journey.

Following the discovery of Herod's tomb in 2007 by the late Professor Ehud Netzer, it was decided to mount an exhibition on his building projects. The exhibition follows Herod's final journey from his winter palace in Jericho to Herodium where he planned his burial place.

The life and legacy of Herod the Great, ruler of Judea from 37-4 BCE and considered among the most important imperial figures in history, is the focus of this groundbreaking exhibition. The exhibit focuses on his projects in Jericho and Herodium and his relationship with Rome. Rare artifacts from the sites are displayed for the first time together with items from the Roman world.
The exhibition also features a monumental, full-size reconstruction of the burial chamber of the king’s mausoleum, including the intricately carved sarcophagus believed to have held his body, together with fragments from the Second Temple of Jerusalem and reconstructed palace chambers decorated with meticulously restored wall paintings and stucco and mosaic work.The scale of the exhibit eclipses the usual painstaking work necessary to produce the average museum show. With some 30 tons of columns, stones and frieze fragments from Herodium, floors had to be reinforced and ceilings raised at the 900-square-meter exhibition space.

Herod the Great Exhibition Jerusalem
A tour of the exhibit helps us understand Herod's world and the building styles and techniques that he introduced into the country. Love him or hate him one cannot fail to be impressed by his work.

The exhibit s proving to be extremely popular. During Passover week alone over 35,000 people passed through the exhibit and many more have followed.

STOP PRESS! Due to popular demand the exhibit has been extended until January 4, 2014.
Don't miss it!

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