Attack preparations. The Roman commander, General Silva, first built eight fortified camps (designated A to H on the map) around Masada. Then he built a circumvallation wall linking, or in close proximity to, the camps, so that none of Masada’s defenders could escape. The 6-foot-thick wall included 12 towers in its eastern section; breaks in the wall occur where cliffs and deep ravines made the wall unnecessary.

The camps served to quarter troops in a fashion that guarded against counterattack and to defend the best possible escape routes. The largest camp (B) measures 140 by 180 yards. Silva located his own camp (F) and the siege ramp, the final preparation for the assault, in the most advantageous place.