An outstanding and remarkably vivid introduction to Masada’s archaeology and history, this museum combines 500 evocative artefacts unearthed by archaeologists (one coin and four papyri are replicas). There are presentations on key Masada personalities – Herod the Great, who built a palace here in the 1st century BCE, turncoat historian Josephus Flavius and Jewish commander Eliezer ben Yair – to make the dramatic events of 73 CE seem close enough to touch. Visitors receive an audio headset, available in eight languages.
Objects on display include Roman arrowheads; a leather sandal once worn by a woman rebel; the remains of Roman-era dates, wheat, barley and olives; and 11 pot shards, each inscribed with a name, that – as the Romans were about to breach the ramparts – may have been used to choose the 10 men assigned the task of killing everyone else.
Unless you're doing a sunrise climb, this museum makes an excellent first stop at Masada.