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Herod’s sarcophagus

Herod’s sarcophagus

Herod’s sarcophagus

Reddish limestone

H: 87; W: 62.4; L: 203 cm

Staff Archaeological Officer in the Civil Administration of Judea and Samaria
Accession number:

K39628, K39627

Archaeology/Hellenistic, Roman & Byzantine Periods

Near the mausoleum of King Herod the Great at Herodium, three stone sarcophagi were discovered in fragments - two light-colored and one reddish (on display here). The reddish sarcophagus was decorated in an opulent but restrained fashion with rosettes and palmettes. It was found smashed into hundreds of pieces scattered about the area. We assume that even though Herod’s name does not appear on it, this sarcophagus held the king’s body and was destroyed by the Jewish rebels who vented their anger upon it.