Bodies at Masada were Romans not Zealots
A new research paper published Friday takes another look at the remains of three people found in a bathhouse at the site — two male skeletons and a full head of women's hair, including two braids. They were long thought to have belonged to a family of Zealots, the fanatic Jewish rebels said to have killed themselves rather than fall into Roman slavery in the spring of 73 A.D., a story that became an important part of Israel's national mythology.
Along with other bodies found at Masada, the three were recognized as Jewish heroes by Israel's government in 1969 and given a state burial, complete with Israeli soldiers carrying flag-draped coffins.
But Israel might have mistakenly bestowed that posthumous honor on three Romans, according to a paper in the June issue of the journal Near Eastern Archaeology by anthropologist Joe Zias and forensics expert Azriel Gorski.
The remains of the three became a key part of the site's story when Masada was excavated in the 1960s. Yigael Yadin, the renowned Israeli archeologist in charge of the dig, thought they illustrated the historical account of Zealot men killing their wives and children and then themselves before the Roman legionnaires breached Masada's defenses...
comments powered by Disqus
- Hull of Confederate Submarine H.L. Hunley Found 150 Years Later
- U.S. Textbook Skews History, Prime Minister of Japan Says
- Recalling a Film From the Liberation of the Camps
- Skull Fossil Offers New Clues on Human Journey From Africa
- Are crude conspiracies right? Research shows nations really do go to war over oil
- Columbia University professors Eric Foner, Alan Brinkley, and Alice Kessler-Harris to retire
- A powerhouse appropriations subcommittee is now headed by a historian: Republican Rep. Tom Cole (OK)
- Slavic scholars divided over a scholarship sponsored (and withdrawn) by Stephen F. Cohen
- Claire Strom to Step Down as Editor of Agricultural History