Entrance to King Herod the Great’s palace unearthed in Israel: Complex set of corridors leads to elaborate hall of ruler
- Discovery was made by Hebrew University of Jerusalem archaeologists
- Entrance leads to Herodyan Hilltop Palace at the Herodium National Park
- Palace was built after Herod defeated the Parthians between 23 and 15BC
- He was said to have built a town and palace on the site 10 miles (16km) south of Jerusalem to celebrate this victory
- Main feature of the entrance is a corridor with a complex system of arches
- A series of hidden tunnels dug on the site by rebels were also found
- They are said to have been part of guerrilla warfare waged against Romans
Excavations of a colossal fortress built by King Herod the Great have uncovered the palace’s dramatic entrance way.
The arched entrance and corridor, built around 20 years before the birth of Christ, leads to a vestibule or lobby covered with coloured frescoes.
The palace was built after Herod defeated the Parthians, originally from Iran, and decided to build a town and palace on the site 10 miles (16km) south of Jerusalem to celebrate his victory.
The discovery was made by by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Institute of Archaeology.
It was part of a wider dig that is ongoing at the Herodium site in the Herodyon National Park.
The main feature of the entryway is a corridor with a complex system of arches spanning its width on three separate levels.
Thanks to the supporting arches, the 65ft (20 metre) long and 19ft (6 metre) wide corridor has been preserved to a height of 65ft (20 metres).
Hebrew University archaeologists, Roi Porat, Yakov Kalman and Rachel Chachy, said: ‘The corridor was built as part of Herod’s plan to turn Herodium into a massive artificial volcano-shaped hill, a vast and impressive monument designed to commemorate the architect-King.
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