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Israeli archaeologist finds the tomb of King Herod; BRITAIN/INTERNATIONAL.

AN ISRAELI archaeologist has found the tomb of King Herod, the legendary builder of ancient Jerusalem, at a compound on a hill south of the city, the Hebrew University announced.

The tomb is at a site called Herodium, a flattened hilltop in the Judean Desert, clearly visible from southern Jerusalem.

Herod is noted in the New Testament for his Massacre of the Innocents. But he became the ruler of the Holy Land under the Romans around 37 BC.

The wall he built around the Old City of Jerusalem during the time of the Jewish Second Temple is the one that can be seen today.

He also undertook massive construction projects in Caesaria, Jericho, the hilltop fortress of Massada and other locations.

"When I realised it was the tomb there was great happiness," said Prof Ehud Netzer, who has been working at the Herodium site since 1972.

At the site, archaeologists found a smashed limestone sarcophagus that, when whole, would have been around 2.;m (8ft) long.

No bones were found at the site. Prof Netzer said that they had likely been removed by Jewish rebels who fought against Rome between 66 and 72 AD.

If the find is confirmed, it would rank as a major archaeological discovery, BBC Jerusalem correspondent Tim Franks said..

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An aerial view of the hilltop compound of Herodium
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:May 9, 2007
Words:224
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