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Extra resources for Facatativa, santuario de la Rana. Andes orientales de Colombia

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But Yadin, and soon the world, declared the effort to be worth the investment. The team uncovered numerous structures, including two palaces, a tannery, storerooms, and cisterns, as well as artifacts of everyday life such as a man’s belt buckle, which allowed them to glimpse what life had been like for the occupants in the days and weeks before they died. Perhaps most importantly for Yadin, the excavators found remnants of a conflict—piles of sling stones, arrowheads, and other 48 weapons. They discovered several bodies, including one group of three bodies that Yadin interpreted as the remains of a husband, wife, and child.

As an archaeologist, he was a faculty member of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. 42 His military and political careers notwithstanding, Yadin was quite literally born to be an archaeologist. He was the son of Eliezer Sukenik, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem scholar who bought the first three Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947, when Yadin was a thirtyyear-old university student. After serving as Head of Operations during the 1948 war and then as chief of staff of the IDF, Yadin went back to school, eventually writing his PhD thesis on the translation of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Most likely, Josephus wrote his account safely back in Rome, utilizing the day books and other primary sources provided by Flavius Silva, the Roman commander who captured the site. Yadin decided to excavate Masada in large part to establish what really happened there nearly two thousand years ago. The physical difficulties created by the 1,300-foot-tall mountain made the excavation unique. Heavy equipment had to be lifted to the top of the mountain by helicopter; volunteers had to walk up the long and winding Snake Path every morning and come back down it every evening.

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