June 24, 2022 By Tanna Richard Day 12 Day 12. Dead Sea Day: Masada, Wadi Arugut at En Gedi, Qumran, and Swimming in the Dead Sea! Camels on the way to Masada Donkey along the road en route to Masada Looking at the west side of Masada from above. Herod the Great built a beautiful palace at Masada. He would impress Rome with its opulent furnishings. We walked up the Roman siege ramp to Masada. Masada was the last “hold out” after the Romans destroyed Jerusalem in 70 AD. Josephus records that the Jewish zealots who held out at Masada took their own lives instead of giving up to Rome. Masada is a rallying cry for modern day Israel, a place of great importance! Heading up the Roman siege ramp Looking down on the Roman siege ramp at Masada Roman siege wall to seal off Masada Synagogue in Masada Looking north from Masada Original plaster from Senomian chalk used to put a fancy plaster on the stones that Herod the Great used to make Masada impressive Original mosaic on the floor of Herod the Great’s bathhouse at Masada Herod the Great used Pompey red The steam room – the furnace is outside and pumps heat under the suspended floor that rests on clay pillars. Heat comes up the pipes and heats the walls. The original pipes are in the Israel museum. If you want steam you pour water on the floor Two of Herod’s storehouses where he kept the finest of foods Herod’s palace Model of Herod’s palace at Masada Western palace (guest house) mosaic Western palace (guest house) mosaic Western palace (guest house) mosaic Walked Wadi Arugut at En Gedi Teaching time with Dr Cindy Parker while standing in Wadi Arugut Up the ridge line of what looks like a Komodo dragon is the traditional site where people believe Herod Antipas killed John the Baptist at his fortress. The Dead Sea is the foreground Cut from the Kidron Valley that runs past Jerusalem to down here at the Dead Sea Qumran Always wanted to see Qumran! Qumran Cave 4 – this cave produced the most archeologist found texts. Many of the Qumran texts were not found by archeologists but rather Bedouins who turned the manuscripts in for money Barb and I did the obligatory float in the Dead Sea!