This solitary mountain refuge - a symbol of courage and love of freedom - stands in the Judean Desert overlooking the shores of the Dead Sea. For three years, the Roman Legion laid siege to Masada and to the Jewish zealots who had taken refuge there.
On Passover the year 73 C.E., the Jews acknowledged that their cause was lost. And rather than fall under the yoke of Roman slavery, 960 men, women, and children, led by Elazar Ben Yair, committed mass suicide. The events are described in the writings of Josephus Flavius, based on reports by five survivors.
Excavations have uncovered luxurious palaces, mosaic floors, frescoes, a synagogue and biblical scrolls, bronze and silver coins, human skeletons, and potsherds with Hebrew inscriptions.