Published On: Sat, Jan 10th, 2015

Israeli Archaeologists Uncover Ancient Herod Palace in Jerusalem

King Herod Palace

Archaeologists continue to make amazing discoveries all over Israel. Now the country’s Antiquities Authority says that it has uncovered a palace of King Herod where the trial of Jesus was believed to have taken place. The site is now open to the public.

Herod was the King of Judea in the First Century AD who ruled at the start of the more than 500 year long Roman occupation of the country. He was known for his massive building projects throughout the country which included the rebuilding of Jerusalem with many towers, the refurbishing of the Temple and the building of many palaces for himself including one at Masada. Oh and he was also an insane paranoid who murdered his wife and sons out of fear of being deposed.

Most of what Herod built was destroyed by the Romans in the year 70 AD, but some parts of his buildings in Jerusalem did survive, most famously The Western Wall.

One of the palaces which he built was located near the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in the Christian Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City. Specifically, the abandoned prison building that is part of the Tower of David Museum grounds. The trial site is one piece of a vast excavation undertaken by archaeologists from 1999 to 2000 but sealed off for the past 14 years largely due to lack of funding.

The site was used as a prison by both the Turks and the British.

Archaeologist Amit Re’em of the Israel Antiquities Authority said the palace was built at the end of the first century B.C., according to Josephus, the Jewish historian and Roman citizen of the era.

“It was enormous, with a lot of gold and silver and running water and guest quarters, ” he said.

It is believed that this is where the Roman Governor of Judea, Pontias Pilate, conducted the trial of Jesus which ended with his being sentenced to be crucified.

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