"Water at Masada" Masada Things to Do Tip by FruitLover

Masada Things to Do: 75 reviews and 141 photos

  Water at Masada - a model
by FruitLover
 
 

"At each spot used for habitation, both on the summit and about the palace, as also before the wall, he had cut out in the rock numerous large tanks, as reservoirs for water, thus procuring a supply as ample as where springs are available."
Josephus Flavius

The solution of the water problem in the desert fortress is undoubtedly one of the wonders of Masada.

In order to survive on the mountain, Herod quarried numerous cisterns on the summit and the northwestern slope. Rainwater that flowed in the floods in the nearby streams was stored here. The water was collected by a system of dams and two aqueducts, parts of which can be seen to this day. Two rows of cisterns were dug in the slope, eight in the upper row and four in the lower, that contained a total of 40,000 cubic meters of water. From the cisterns two paths led up to the mountain, one from the upper row to the Water Gate in the northeast of the mountain and the other from the lower row to the Snake Path Gate in the east. Convoys of animals brought the water up to Masada along these paths. When they reached the summit, the water was poured into a system of channels leading into the cisterns throughout the mountain.

But a lover of 'La Dolche Vita' like Herod would not be content merely with drinking water. The water planning of Masada also included attention to hygiene and recreation, as we see from the bathhouses and the swimming pool located in the southern part of the mountain.

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  • Updated Jan 6, 2006
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FruitLover

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