Danny Herman

MOUNTING THE ASSAULT. Spread over 5 acres, Camp F, seen in the middle ground, was one of the two largest Roman camps at Masada. Positioned at the base of the western side of the cliff, Camp F probably served as a command center. Camp E, discernible to the left of Camp F, had two gateways through its front defenses, which allowed for rapid reinforcement if the rebels attempted a sortie. The great assault ramp on the western slope of the cliff (see panoramic photo at the beginning of article) is the most conspicuous surviving evidence of the Romans’ pursuit of the Jewish rebels. Building upon a natural spur that abuts the mountain, the Romans constructed a ramp composed of stone and earth reinforced with timber bracings. The ramp was designed to raise the ironclad siege tower into position to fire against the rebels.