Daily Archives: October 28, 2010

Archaeologist Netzer dies after fall

The Jerusalem Post reported here this afternoon that Prof. Netzer succumbed to the injuries sustained during his fall at the Herodium.

Renowned archaeologist Ehud Netzer died of his wounds at the Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital in Jerusalem Thursday night, days after he fell during an excavation.

On Monday Prof. Netzer was hospitalized in critical condition after a wooden railing he leaned on gave way, at the Herodion archeological site in the West Bank.

Jim West was kind enough to leave a comment on our blog this  morning once he was certain that Prof. Netzer had died.

Recently we discussed here some of the work at the Herodium. Below I am including a closer view of the area where Prof. Netzer was working. This aerial photo shows a clear view of the theater. The roofed structure covers the royal theater box.

The Herodium excavation. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins, Dec. 15, 2009.

The Herodium excavation. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins. Dec. 15, 2009.

Without the determination of Ehud Netzer the north side of the Herodium would still look like the view below, and we would still be wondering about the location of Herod’s burial place.

The Herodium from the north. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins, Aug. 23, 2008.

The Herodium from the north. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins, Aug. 23, 2008.

The Herodium is located a few miles east of Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus (Matthew 2).

Prof. Ehud Netzer critically injured at Herodium

According to The Jerusalem Post, well known archaeologist Ehud Netzer has been critically injured in a fall at the Herodium (Herodion). The full report by Ben Hartman may be read here.

Well-known Israeli archeologist Ehud Netzer remained in critical condition Wednesday at Hadassah-University Medical Center, Ein Kerem, two days after he suffered a serious fall during a dig at the Herodion archeological site in the West Bank.

Netzer was reportedly leaning against a wooden railing on Monday when it gave way. He fell nearly 10 feet before landing – only to roll and fall an additional 10 feet. He suffered fractures in his cranium and vertebrae and was rushed to Hadassah in critical condition.

The 76-year-old archeologist is one of the foremost experts on Herodion, a man-made mountain built by King Herod near Bethlehem. Netzer has carried out digs at the site for more than three decades; three years ago, he found the site of Herod’s grave – a discovery that was considered the pinnacle of his career.

Digs he performed in 1968 in Jericho unearthed a Hasmonean winter palace that sported bathing pools and gardens, widely considered the most significant archeological site dealing with that period in Jewish history. The digs also unearthed the Jericho synagogue, considered the largest Jewish house of worship ever discovered.

In 1978, Netzer finished his PhD dissertation at Hebrew University, which focused on Herod’s palaces at Herodion and Jericho. He became a senior lecturer at the university in 1981, where he has taught ever since.

There were blog reports yesterday that Netzer had died, but these are being corrected this morning.