King Herod reigned for 33 years. He is most famous for his building projects, including the glorious expansion of the temple in Jerusalem. Christians know of him from the New Testament as the king who reigned at the time of Jesus’ birth, and who attempted to kill the newborn king. Herod died shortly thereafter in 4 B.C.
Archaeologists have been excavating King Herod’s summer home at Herodium (near Bethlehem) for 40 years. Approximately 250 artifacts, including his bathtub, statues, palatial columns, sarcophagus, and a replica of his mausoleum, went on display today at a special exhibit at the Israel Museum titled “Herod the Great: The King’s Final Journey.”