Masada is an ancient military fortification. It is at the top of a big hill and it is flattened out like a mesa. It is very isolated. King Herod built a huge complex on top. You would think that since it is so out of the way, and high up (300 feet on the shortest side), that no-one would want to try to take it over. Wrong. When the Romans took over most of the known world, they had to have Masada too.
There are ruins of ritual baths, temples, homes, store rooms and other buildings there.
The Romans spent months building a huge ramp up the side of the plateau to get to Masada. When their defeat was imminent, the residents lit everything they could on fire and ended up in a mass suicide where more than 900 people killed their families and themselves. Historians found 11 little chips of rock with people’s names on them. They think that was how they picked who was supposed to kill everyone. I think that’s the grossest story ever. Here are some pictures from Masada. I am not sure what is up with the guy in the crown and cape. Maybe he is related to Herod or something.