Bible and archaeology news
A plan by the Israel Nature and Parks Authority to create a life-size recreation of Herod’s tomb at the site of Herodium is coming under fire from some archaeologists. The plan, which is also being promoted by the Gush Etzion Regional Council that oversees and administers Jewish settlements in the area, calls for the building of an 80-foot-tall plastic structure that will attempt to recreate the size, grandeur and architectural details of Herod’s mausoleum, which some believe was discovered by the late Ehud Netzer several years ago.* Already this week, the Parks Authority erected a 13-foot-tall model of the tomb at the site (pictured). Some archaeologists, however, are critical of the plan and suggest that the details of Herod’s tomb are still too sketchy to develop an accurate understanding of what the mausoleum actually looked like. “The Herodium is impressive on its own, and the new structure will only distract from the real thing,” said Haim Goldfus, the head of Ben Gurion University’s archaeology department. “A public committee should be established to decide on such a move.”
* Ehud Netzer, “In Search of Herod’s Tomb,” Biblical Archaeology Review, January/February 2011.
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