Rising above the Judean hills, the artificially conical mountain of Herodium still bears witness to the building prowess of its namesake, King Herod the Great. At this barren site southeast of Jerusalem, Herod constructed a spectacular palace-fortress atop the mountain and a lavish palatial resort in the valley below. According to the first-century C.E. Jewish historian Josephus, the king had chosen this desert retreat as his final resting place, but the burial location eluded archaeologists for decades. Near the end of his 40 years of excavation at the site, however, the late Ehud Netzer found the remains of a well-built mausoleum containing the shattered remnants of an ornately decorated sarcophagus.* Netzer believed he had found Herod’s tomb.