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June 16, 2004



Ben-Gurion University geologist Dr. Yossi Hatzor has lead a team to study the stability of King Herod's three-tiered fortress palace at Masada. I had never seen a model of the place before and had failed to appreciate how spectacular it must have looked when it was new. Neat.

"They built under complex topographical conditions, and understood the structure of the hill and the influence of the cracks. The water systems built into the rock were well planned," he said. "His builders knew how to hew underground chambers without support, and they are still standing."

Posted by Ghost of a flea at June 16, 2004 08:58 AM

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It really is spectacular. The one time I got to visit Israel I climbed up Masada with my cousin and her children (we go tthere after the cablecar had already stopped running; I'm usually lazier than that). What a place and what a view. It must have been amazing in its day ... and terrifying to see the oncoming Roman legions during the seige.

Posted by: Jheka at June 16, 2004 01:13 PM

So the ancient Israelites built a little Minas Tirith into the side of a hill thousands of years ago?

That's pretty cool. Good for them.

Posted by: Chris Taylor at June 16, 2004 05:36 PM

It does look Minas Tirith-esque. Tirith Tulca, "the immovable/strong tower" may be a good translation of Metzude.

Now off to bang head against wall for translating Hebrew to Quenya.

Posted by: Flea at June 16, 2004 06:17 PM