Inside Masada

A closer look into the structures of the famous fortress

We will be covering the buildings 5 and 6, 10, 14, the north palace (7-9), the west palace, 27 and 29, 32, 35 as well as the snake path and siege ramp all in respective order. And pay attention! There may be a prize at the end...

a brief history and explanation

This mean looking dude above is King Herod. He wasn't a nice guy, but he did build Masada! Now it's time for me to get on with that explanation and fo'shizzle.

Main Points (Really all you need to know, to be honest):

1. Masada's architecture credited to jerk Herod, was built as refuge for him and his family

2. Herod built Masada between the periods 37 B.C. and 31 B.C.

3. When Herod died at 4 B.C., the palace pretty much complete

4. The Zealots did NOT build Masada

5. Current structures collage of Jewish and Roman cultures

Now on to the real stuff, the structures!

the storehouses

Yada yada, Jack explains. And so on.

Main Points:

1. Located at the northern end of the plateau

2. The Zealots used these to survive the hardships of the siege, up until Masada fell

3. Many of the Zealots supplies came from the sacking of Ein-Gedi, a town 16 km north of Masada

the baths

Oh yeah, that's real water! I ruined my Legos all for you! Anyway, you know the drill. Time to explain.

Main Points:

1. Located by the north end

2. The thermae on Masada included an apodyterium, a caldarium, a frigidarium and even a tepidarium

3. Herod felt bathing was an important part of life

the synagogue

Note: Ceiling and walls were removed for visibility. Also a noteworthy mention for those who barely have over an IQ of 75: a synagogue is a place of worship for Jews.

Main Points:

1. Located on the north-western side of Masada

2. This structure was originally stables

the north palace

Sorry, I couldn't build the north palace out of Legos. Waaaayyyy too hard. Believe me. Anyway, this is one of the most defining features of Masada, so be prepared for a lot of information!

1. Located at north end (duh!)

2. Where Herod would have lived

3. Triple- leveled structure

4. Herod would have lived at the top of the palace; the two bottom levels would have been used for celebrations or meetings

5. Most comfortable spot to live in on entire plateau

the western palace

Even more palaces! I can't build all that with Legos! Ah well, on with the details!

Main Points:

1. Located on the western side (double duh!)

2. It covers 3,700 square meters

3. Nearby lies a tower which contains a tannery

the cistern

To those who don't understand what a cistern is, it's an underground chamber that collects rain water. Yeah, you can see why it would be important for a desolate mountain village in the middle of a desert.

Main Points:

1. Supplied the Zealots with water most likely while under siege

2. Yeah, that's about it. It was still really important though!

We even use cisterns today, though.

the columbarium

Finally, something a little smaller! I can build this at least out of Legos...

Main Points:

1. Located on the western side

2. The columbarium was a housing area for pigeons and other birds

3. Was used for variety of purposes, mainly for harvesting the bird meat and collecting bird feces for fertilizing the farmers' soil

4.  Nitrogen is key ingredient for fertile soil

zealots' living quarters

To my surprise, the Zealots actually chose NOT to reside in the fancy north and west palaces. I personally would so have taken advantage of having a palace in my premise. Anyway, time to actually explain what this building is...

Main Points:

1. Zealots couldn't adapt to palaces; chose to reside in the north-eastern side

2. Palaces were actually stripped to be used as building materials

3. Palaces were also used as command posts by the Zealots

the snake path

Wow. That looks hard to climb.

Main Points:

1. Over 2km long, with 700 steps

2. Only way up to Masada before siege ramp and cable cars

3. Romans couldn't have gone this route to overtake Masada, as they would have been sitting ducks for Zealot archers

the siege ramp (last one!)

This was the Roman army's solution to being unable to breach Masada's walls. It was an incredibly demanding project, requiring hundreds of slaves to complete.

Main Points:

1. Almost 400 meters high

2.Built on the west side because slope of cliff was more level

3. Took a very long time to complete

QUIZ TIME!!!11!!1!!!1!!

Oh yesssss

Question 1: When did King Herod die?

Question 2: What was the synagogue before it was a synagogue?

Question 3: The columbarium held _______.

Question 4: How many square meters did the western palace cover?

Question 5: How many levels are in the northern palace?

SUPER BONUS GRAND PRIZE: Ein-Gedi is ___ km _____ (direction: north, west, east, south) of Masada.


He-man. Digital image. N.p., n.d. Web. <>.

Siege Ramp. Digital image. N.p., n.d. Web. <>.

Living area for zealots. Digital image. Massada. N.p., n.d. Web. <>.

Columbarium. Digital image. N.p., n.d. Web. <>.

Cistern. Digital image. N.p., n.d. Web. <>.

Video on northern palace. Digital image. N.p., n.d. Web. <>.

Baths. Digital image. N.p., n.d. Web. <>.

Synagogue. Digital image. N.p., n.d. Web. <>.

Storehouse. Digital image. N.p., n.d. Web. <>.

Map. Digital image. N.p., n.d. Web. <>.

Snake path. Digital image. N.p., n.d. Web. <>.

Cistern. Digital image. N.p., n.d. Web. <>.

Star of david. Digital image. N.p., n.d. Web. <>.

North palace. Digital image. N.p., n.d. Web. <>.

Western palace. Digital image. N.p., n.d. Web. <>.

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