The first edificies at Masada were built in the period of Maccabean rulers of Judea. The gained indepedence to the Jewish people and formed a dynasty of kings. One of them, Alexander Jannaeus who ruled over Judea from 103 to 76 BC, probably built the first buldings at the site. 

However, the pick of construction at Masada was carried out by king Herod the Great. He ruled from 37 to 4 BC. Almost seventy years later, the governer of Judea Flavius Silva had conquered destroyed Masada. The place was abandoned and forgotten until rediscovered by the American scholar Edward Robinson, in  the 19-th century AD.

Masada during king Herod times was not occupied in summer months. Herod resided in his other palaces in summer such as in Jerusalem, Caesarea, Jericho, Herodion, Caesarea Philippi and other locations. At this time Masada was like home for a small garrison of soldiers and guards who took care of the place and guarded the kings' property. Also the task of the contingent was to make sure that the water cisterns on the southern side of the cliff and the one below the Snake Path were filled with water to the brim. How did the do that? Using the mules who carried leather pouches with water to the cisterns. The military garrison also guarded the entrance to the gate. The gate was situated at the end of the path called "The Snake Path". King Herod stayed at Masada for several weeks of every winter.

to be continued...