The Herodium Expedition

In small fragments among the ruins of the mausoleum, Netzer’s team found the remains of a finely carved sarcophagus of reddish limestone, as well as two other white stone sarcophagi—one decorated (shown here) and one plain. Although there is no inscription, Netzer believes the reddish sarcophagus, decorated with large rosettes, belonged to Herod. The other two were probably for family members—perhaps Herod’s fourth wife, Malthace, and Glaphyra, the second wife of his son and successor Archelaus. Netzer noted that Herod’s sarcophagus was broken into much smaller pieces than the other two sarcophagi, which led him to conclude that the hated king’s sarcophagus had been intentionally smashed to bits by the Jewish rebels who later occupied Herodium during the First Jewish Revolt (66–70 C.E.).