Details of King Herod's tomb revealed

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JERUSALEM -- It took 35 years, but on Tuesday Professor Ehud Netzer of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem could finally announce that he had solved a 'great mystery' and found the final resting place of the Biblical King Herod the Great, and an elaborate sarcophagus which had been smashed to 'hundreds of pieces.'

'We have located the burial site of Herod, at the Herodium,' Netzer told a packed news conference in Jerusalem, describing the find as a 'high point' for research on Herod.

Herod was buried some 2011 years ago in the sarcophagus, which was made of a Jerusalemite reddish limestone and extensively decorated.

The sarcophagus, Netzer said, was rare, with one similar to one found in the Tomb of the Kings in East Jerusalem.

The writings of the Roman-Jewish historian Flavius Josephus, combined with the 'unique' tomb, and a grand stairway six metres wide leading to it, as well as other evidence, such as a large podium, make Nezter believe that he has finally found the spot he has long searched for.

'We just knew,' he said of what he called the 'big moment' when his team found the evidence.

Related Links

  • BBC News report (video, 1:30)
  • AP photos at Yahoo archaeology (#1-46)

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