The Ehud Netzer Expedition

The Ehud Netzer Expedition to Herodium


The Herodium research project of the Hebrew University Institute of Archaeology was set up in 1972 by Ehud Netzer at the beginning of his long-term studies at the site. The project has concentrated on archaeological and historical research into the site, and research on the architecture of Herod, the architect-King.
The first large-scale excavations by the expedition were carried out in Lower Herodium, where a large and impressive Herodian palace was uncovered; this complex included gardens and recreation areas, government and administrative areas and structures which may have been connected with the King’s burial. Research on the hilltop Palace-Fortress included a comprehensive architectural study of the Herodian structure, and excavations in different parts of it; these focused primarily on the underground complex, comprised of Herodian-period water-cisterns and a complicated tunnel system, mainly from the Bar-Kokhba period. Excavation of the hill’s northern slope started during the first decade of this century, uncovering in its course King Herod’s grave, along with the small but splendid Royal Theater. Results of all these projects have appeared in various publications, aimed at both the academic community and the general public.
Apart from the various studies, the expedition has been involved since its inception in conservation and development of the site for tourism, and in making it accessible to the general public. As a function of this, Professor Netzer was instrumental in the establishment of the site as a National Park, while the project’s conservation and development plans have served as the basis for the widespread development of the site during recent years; the primary conservation of the ancient remains is carried out by the expedition members themselves.
After Professor Netzer’s untimely death, the result of an unfortunate accident at the site, the expedition team took upon themselves the continuation of his research at Herodium. Members of Ehud Netzer’s original team, led by Roi Porat, Ya’akov Kalman and Rachel Chachy, made it their aim to continue and further develop Netzer’s life work, the publication and development of Herodium. The primary aims of the project are to produce comprehensive academic publications of a high standard of all the material since the project’s inception, and the continued research and excavation at the site. The expedition continues to promote the site’s development for the general public, in the spirit of Professor Netzer’s vision, and the presentation of the research of Herodium and Netzer’s heritage to the general public, both in Israel and abroad.



  • צוות החפירות
    The Team
  • אהוד
    Prof Ehud Nezer