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The sparse remains of another 24 people were found in a cave at the base of the cliff.
Although the excavator Yigal Yadin was unsure of their ethnicity, the rabbinical establishment concluded that they were remains of the Jewish defenders, and in July 1969, they were reburied as Jews in a state ceremony.
In the area in front of the Northern Palace, 11 small ostraca were recovered, each bearing a single name.
One reads "ben Yair" and could be short for Eleazar ben Ya'ir, the commander of the fortress.
Josephus said that the Sicarii raided nearby Jewish villages including Ein Gedi, where they massacred 700 women and children.
geological investigations in the early 1990s confirmed earlier observations that the 114 m (375 ft) high assault ramp consisted mostly of a natural spur of bedrock.
Many of the ancient buildings have been restored from their remains, as have the wall paintings of Herod's two main palaces, and the Roman-style bathhouses that he built.
The synagogue, storehouses, and houses of the Jewish rebels have also been identified and restored.
Water cisterns two-thirds of the way up the cliff drain the nearby wadis by an elaborate system of channels, which explains how the rebels managed to conserve enough water for such a long time.
The remains of a male 20–22 years of age, a female 17–18, and a child about 12 years old were found in the palace.
The remains of two men and a full head of hair with braids belonging to a woman were also found in the bath house.
Josephus mentions only one of the two palaces that have been excavated, refers only to one fire, while many buildings show fire damage, and claims that 960 people were killed, while the remains of only 28 bodies have been found.
The Aramaic common noun marda, "fortress", corresponds in meaning to the Greek name of another desert monastery of the time, Kastellion, and is used to describe that site in the vita (biography) of St Sabbas, but it is only used as a proper name for the monastery at Masada, as can be seen from the vita of St Euthymius.