GPR for Archaeology — Judean Hills


CUSTOMER:

Hebrew University

LOCATION:

Judean Hills (Israel)

CHALLENGE:

Assist a team from Israel’s Hebrew University to research two sites in the Judean Hills, with the hopes of officially identifying the tomb of King Herod and other buried secrets of significant historical value.

SOLUTION:

The team used Ground-Penetrating Radar (GPR) for archaeology to search primarily for large underground voids that would indicate a possible tunnel or tomb.

OUTCOME:

  • Site 1: Herodium — SRI technicians scanned the central tower and the western slope for any deviations in the bedrock and provided the archaeologists with several promising areas for investigation. Less than three weeks later, it was announced that King Herod’s tomb was discovered in one of those areas.**

  • Site 2: Hyrcania — While scanning in the Valley of Achor’s mysterious tunnels, rumored to have been used as a staging ground for the Bar Kokhba Revolt (the Third Jewish-Roman War), the team located a significant void in a tunnel that was carved at 45 degrees for about 450 feet into the bedrock. However, attention was largely diverted to the discovery of Herod’s Tomb and the tunnel in Hyrcania has not yet been excavated to our knowledge.

  • **Eight years after archaeologists announced the discovery of King Herod’s tomb, the research community determined that the location may not, in fact, have been his burial place. The search, therefore, continues at Herodium.


    For more information about these archaeological digs, check out these articles: