King Herod archaeologist dies after tragic fall

The Israeli archeologist who excavated King Herod’s winter palace has been killed in an on-site accident.

Professor Ehud Netzer died in hospital after a wooden safety railing broke and he fell several yards.

Professor Netzer, who was 76, spent more than three decades searching a part of Mount Herodium in Jerusalem in the hope of finding the tomb of the Roman-appointed King of Judea.

The Hebrew University archeologist finally discovered the tomb in 2007, to international acclaim.

Afterwards he told the JC that he never gave up hope of finding the two-millennia-old royal remains.

He said: “There were ups and downs, but I really believed he was buried there, so we continued searching.”

Professor Netzer was a leading figure in his field and established several important digs in his career. He began his career by working on the excavation of Masada, the Roman-era fortress.

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu paid tribute to his work and said it "a loss for his family, scholars of Israel's history and the science of archaeology."

Last updated: 9:28am, November 1 2010