Plans and isometric drawings of the tomb of Augustus and of Herod’s family tomb in Jerusalem. The plan of Augustus’s tomb (above), built in Rome in 28 B.C., is quite similar to that of the round monument near the Damascus Gate (below), built by Herod at about the same time.

The plan of Augustus’s tomb shows concentric circular walls, 292 feet (89m) in overall diameter, separating vaulted tomb-chambers. In Herod’s family tomb, two circular concentric walls enclose a vaulted tomb chamber about 11 feet (3.5m) wide. The four shaded areas show the author’s excavation trenches. Dark areas mark sections of opus reticulatum stonework exposed by Ehud Netzer in 1977 and by Conrad Schick in the 19th century along the inner face of the tomb’s outer wall.

Only a few sections of the Jerusalem structure have been excavated. However, the plan of the building so closely follows the plan of Augustus’s tomb (above)—much of which still survives—that it is possible to reconstruct the tomb, at least on paper: below is an artist’s idea of the original appearance of Herod’s family tomb. It’s easy to see that Augustus’s tomb may have been Herod’s model for his own family tomb-monument.