A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America
A decorated reception hall that may have been used to welcome guests at Herod's palace at Masada, Israel, was discovered this past summer. Excavations by Hebrew University's Institute of Archaeology had already uncovered three other rooms that, together with the hall, appear to have formed an elaborate entranceway to the compound. Another entrance toward the west end of the site seems to have been reserved for deliveries, according to Hebrew University archaeologist Ehud Netzer, and two nearby caves were used to keep food cool. In addition to storage-jar fragments, archaeologists also found remains of nut and egg shells, dates, olive pits, cloth, baskets, wooden implements, and an amphora bearing Herod's name in Latin.