BIBLE HISTORY DAILY

Masada Frescoes Restored and Returned

Bible and archaeology news

Maurizio Tagliapietra with the restored frescoes at Masada, in a photo by Ilan Assayag from the Hebrew-language Haaretz publication.

Maurizio Tagliapietra with the restored frescoes at Masada in a photo by Ilan Assayag from the Hebrew-language Haaretz publication.

Frescoes uncovered during Yigael Yadin’s celebrated excavations at Masada in the 1960s were exposed to the elements and eventually had to be removed from the site for preservation. Now, after almost twenty years in storage, the frescoes from the “commander’s residence” have been returned to their place in Masada, following restoration efforts conducted by University of Verona professor Maurizio Tagliapietra.

Masada, the dramatic mountaintop site of the last stand between the Roman army and Jewish rebels in the first century C.E., is one of the most visited tourist destinations in Israel. The Herodian-period frescoes, which depict geometric figures, have been returned to their original locations in a room near Herod’s Northern Palace. The locations were determined using photographs taken during Yadin’s excavations.

Read more about the restoration in Haaretz.


Herod’s desert fortress on the mountaintop of Masada was made famous as the site of the last stand between the besieged Jewish rebels and the relentlessly advancing Romans at the conclusion of the First Jewish Revolt. In the free ebook Masada: The Dead Sea’s Desert Fortress, discover what archaeology reveals about the defenders’ identity, fortifications and arms before their ultimate sacrifice.

Discover the Minoan-style frescoes found in Israel at Middle Bronze Age Tel Kabri.


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