Ten pieces of pottery, each bearing the name of a person, were found in the ruins of Masada. These pieces were believed (by Prof. Yigael Yadin, who excavated the site in the early 1960’s) to be the lots cast by the last defenders of the place. These pieces, soon to be reproduced by Biblical Reproductions, bring us to the end of a story of 100 years of war.
Rome had ruled Judea, either through a puppet king like Herod, or directly through the Procurators, ever since Pompey the Great had swept through the country in 63 B.C. A hundred years of Roman rule followed.
Judea suffered under a variety of local Hasmonean rulers, allowed by Roman prefects and procurators, for the most part small, reedy and tyrannical men who had accepted the job of governor of Judea n order to enrich themselves.
The situation deteriorated until a riot in Caesarea between Jews and pagans in May of the year 66 AD got out of hand, and threatened to deteriorate into civil war. The Roman governor of Syria sent the Twelfth Legion to restore public order, but Judean forces actually defeated this legion in a battle at Beit Horon in November of that year. Defeating a legion meant, of course, that this was no longer a civil disturbance. This was war; the Great Revolt of Judea against Rome.
Exquisite reproductions of the lots found at Masada will be available at www.biblicalreproductions.com in the future. Beautifully replicated, these pieces are approved by the Israel Antiquities Authority.
Author: Walter Zanger