Leen Ritmeyer

The siege of Masada famously described by Josephus is captured in color in this drawing by Leen Ritmeyer. The Roman forces are gathered at the base of the spur; their tower “cased in iron” is already in place, waiting to host the Romans’ “volley of missiles” and battering rams. (Ritmeyer has followed Josephus’s description and has included a stone base for the tower; author Gill notes that no massive stone blocks have been found in the area and believes that this may have been an exaggerated detail.) The drawing underscores Gill’s major finding: The ramp used to bring about Masada’s downfall was a relatively narrow and thin strip of man-made earthwork added atop a large natural spur.