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Masada is a fortress built by Herod the Great on a plateau near the Dead Sea. It was approximately a quarter mile high and accessible only by a narrow bath (the snake path) on its eastern side. Herod the Great built elaborate residences at Masada, including a three-level palace that was partially carved into the northern face of the cliff. During the Jewish-Roman war (Jewish Revolt) several Jewish rebels occupied Masada. In approximately 73 or 74 CE, after the fall of Jerusalem, the Romans built eight siege camps around the base of the plateau and then over several months constructed an earthen ramp to the walls on the western summit of Masada. The classical historian Josephus reports that the rebels enacted a suicide pact when the walls were finally breached by the Romans. Photos in this collection were taken by Dr. Beth M. Sheppard during visits to the site in 2016 and 2023. The day in 2023 was quite overcast.