Photo Gallery: Season 1, 2017

Masada Shall Not Fall Again?

Return to Masada: Excavations of 2017

Guy Stiebel

The celebrated site of Masada, the first Israeli site to qualify for the UNESCO World Heritage List (2001), is situated in one of the most dramatic settings, just off the western shores of the Dead Sea. Masada has functioned as an arena for a range of histories, such as the activity of Herod the Great (who built the extravagant palatial fortress), and as the location of the very last stronghold of the Jewish rebels during the First Jewish War against the Romans.

This forthcoming winter our expedition will return to the field (5.2-3.3, 2017), for the first time under the auspices of Tel Aviv University. The excavation will offer a unique education opportunity to Tel Aviv University students (BA, and International Masters program), which will include fieldwork exercises, guest lectures, and assessment. The expedition will also host a range of excavation volunteers from around the globe. Volunteers will excavate during the day, and enjoy guest lectures and special guided tours in the afternoon and evening. A great deal of excitement surrounds the upcoming season, as it will be the first time excavations have resumed on the mountain since 2006.

Though Masada has been subject to several seasons of excavation, a great deal remains to be investigated. The 2017 expedition will invest in the integration of a broad range of archaeological sciences and excavation methods. Amongst others, we will excavate sections of the rebels’ dwellings, and the as yet unexcavated garden of King Herod. Our intention is to further explore a mysterious underground structure that was detected in the earliest aerial photographs of the site (1924). The building has remained hitherto unexplored…

To discover more about archaeology and excavation at Masada, head to our website at, Facebook page (@MasadaExpedition), or email us at

Blog Post: Originally Published in 2016 Sonia and Marco Institute Newsletter available at: