THE ZEALOTS OF MASADA: The Story of a Dig by Moshe Pearlman
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THE ZEALOTS OF MASADA: The Story of a Dig

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KIRKUS REVIEW

From twenty-eight countries came men and women of all ages and occupations; from Israel itself came hundreds more--now youngsters can join them in excavating the ruins on the rock of Masada, where a small band of Zealots was besieged by more than twenty thousand Romans. Following Josephus, the only extant account, Mr. Pearlman tells of the last stand, quoting Eleazor ben Ya'ir's dramatic call to die rather than surrender, describing how the survivors drew lots until there was only one man left to kill himself. Was the story true? Would there be evidence of the remarkable end? A small group of archaeologists and an equally small group of technicians was recruited, and then the call went out for volunteers. When each group arrived for its two-week stay, it toured the site, settled in to the base camp, and then began its assigned tasks. These experiences are recounted in full, as are the very considerable discoveries, culminating in ""the most dramatic, eleven small pieces of pottery bearing inscriptions, names, one being the name of Ben Ya'ir--were these the lots? Within this narrative of a particular expedition is subsumed a considerable amount of archaeological know-how--a thoughtfully organized and interestingly presented sharing of a singular occasion.

Pub Date: Oct. 23rd, 1967
Publisher: Scribners