These are the remains of the Roman encampments that surround Masada. According to UNESCO, these camps and other fortifications that encircle Masada constitute the finest and most complete Roman siege works to have survived to the present day.
At the beginning of the Revolt of the Jews against the Romans in 66 CE, a group of Jewish rebels overcame the Roman garrison of Masada. After the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Temple (70 CE) they were joined by zealots and their families who had fled from Jerusalem. With Masada as their base, they raided and harassed the Romans for two years. Then, in 73 CE, the Roman governor Flavius Silva marched against Masada with the Tenth Legion, auxiliary units and thousands of Jewish prisoners-of-war. The Romans established camps at the base of Masada, laid siege to it and built a circumvallation wall. They then constructed a rampart of thousands of tons of stones and beaten earth against the western approaches of the fortress and, in the spring of the year 74 CE, moved a battering ram up the ramp and breached the wall of the fortress.
When reading the story about the thousands of Jewish Prisoners of War, you would have to conclude that the rampart would have been built by the prisoners of war.
For more information about Masada
- 2014-03-30 – Dead Sea – Masada
- Masada – Synagogue
- Masada – Background
- Masada – Palace Steps
- Masada – Roman Camps
- Masada – View from the Cable Car
- Masada – Views of the Dead Sea