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Herodion, which resembles an extinct volcano, has aroused the interest of travelers and scholars since the fifteenth century. It is situated on an artificial hill on the edge of the Judean Desert, twelve km south of Jerusalem and six km southeast of Bethlehem. It incorporates the ruins of a number of impressive palaces built by King Herod between 25 and 15 BCE. This enormous building venture was intended to commemorate not only Herod's name but his triumph over the last Hasmonean king, Antigonus 11 (Mattathias), and his men in 40 BCE. According to the famous historian Josephus, Herod was buried in Herodion, but his grave has not been discovered by archeologists, despite intensive excavations. Josephus' description of Herodion matches the archeological finds at the site: