It has taken 2000 years to find – but what is believed to be the tomb of Herod the Great has been discovered by an Israeli archaeologist. Ehud Netzer found the burial site of the king – who ruled Judea from 37BC until his death in 4BC – at a flattened hilltop in Herodium.
Herod has a special place in the Bible after he rebuilt the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem and ordered the killing of male infants to keep his throne as “King of the Jews”.
Netzer, who has spent 30 years searching for the tomb, said it is a historic find: “We started to understand that we were getting close to our target when we found the first pieces of the sarcophagus. There are two here. This is, I can say, a monumental sarcophagus. Only one or two of this kind have been found so far.”
The unearthed tomb’s lavish design led Netzer and his excavation team to the conclusion it belonged to Herod. No bones were found – it is believed Jews rebelling against Rome raided the site between 66 and 72 AD.