Joaquin Miller made a pyramid to Moses Montefiore on his property overlooking Oakland and San Francisco Bay. In his book ‘Building City Beautiful’ he honors Moses’ attempt to build tows near Jerusalem for a Return of the Jews to Zion.
Helena’s son were also converts to Judaism and started the war with Rome in 68 B.C. The Parthians that had ruled, may have taken the side of the Jews in this battle. Helena’s tomb had three pyramids over it, and a stone that rolled away with hydraulics.
“These were my thoughts upon visiting the park located off Joaquin Miller Drive, a park which bears Miller’s name, which includes his “Frémont Ranch,” and which contains seven monuments left by the Poet of the Sierras.”
Jon the Nazarite
She was queen of Adiabene and wife of Monobaz I. With her husband she was the mother of Izates II and Monobaz II. She died about 56 CE. Her name and the fact that she was her husband’s sister  indicate a Hellenistic origin. Helena became a convert to Judaism about the year 30 CE.
2 Jerusalem palace
Sarcophagus of Helena, Israel Museum
She was noted for her generosity; during a famine at Jerusalem she sent to Alexandria for corn (grain) and to Cyprus for dried figs for distribution among the sufferers from the famine. In the Talmud, however (Bava Batra 11a), this is laid to the credit of Monobaz; and though Brüll regards the reference to Monobaz as indicating the dynasty, still Rashi maintains the simpler explanation—that Monobaz himself is meant. The Talmud speaks also of important presents which the queen gave to the Temple at Jerusalem. “Helena had a golden candlestick made over the door of the Temple,” to which statement is added that when the sun rose its rays were reflected from the candlestick and everybody knew that it was the time for reading the Shema’. She also made a golden plate on which was written the passage of the Pentateuch which the high priest read when a wife suspected of infidelity was brought before him. In Yerushalmi Yoma iii. 8 the candlestick and the plate are confused. The strictness with which she observed the Jewish law is thus instanced in the Talmud: “Her son [Izates] having gone to war, Helena made a vow that if he should return safe, she would become a Nazirite for the space of seven years. She fulfilled her vow, and at the end of seven years went to Judah. The Hillelites told her that she must observe her vow anew, and she therefore lived as a Nazirite for seven more years. At the end of the second seven years she became impure, and she had to repeat her Naziriteship, thus being a Nazarite for twenty-one years. Judah ha-Nasi, however, said she was a Nazirite for fourteen years only.” “Rabbi Judah said: ‘The sukkah [erected for the Feast of Tabernacles] of Queen Helena in Lydda was higher than twenty ells. The rabbis used to go in and out and make no remark about it’.”
Helena moved to Jerusalem, where she is buried in the pyramidal tomb which she had constructed during her lifetime, three stadia north of Jerusalem. The catacombs, known as “Tombs of the Kings.” A sarcophagus with the inscription Tzara Malchata, in Hebrew and Syriac, found in the nineteenth century, is supposed to be that of Helena.
 Jerusalem palace
The royal palace of Queen Helena is believed to have been discovered by archaeologist Doron Ben-Ami during excavations in the City of David in 2007. The palace was a monumental building located in the City of David just to the south of the Temple Mount and was destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE. The ruins contained datable coins, stone vessels and pottery as well as remnants of ancient frescoes. The basement level contained a Mikveh.[
The traditional rules regarding the construction of a mikveh are based on those specified in classical rabbinical literature. According to these rules, a mikveh must be connected to a natural spring or well of naturally occurring water, and thus can be supplied by rivers and lakes which have natural springs as their source. A cistern filled by the rain is also permitted to act as a mikveh’s water supply. Similarly snow, ice and hail are allowed to act as the supply of water to a mikveh, as long as it melts in a certain manner. A river that dries up on a regular basis cannot be used because it is presumed to be mainly rainwater, which cannot purify while flowing. Oceans for the most part have the status of natural springs.
A mikveh must, according to the classical regulations, contain enough water to cover the entire body of an average-sized person; based on a mikveh with the dimensions of 3 cubits long, 1 cubit wide, and 1 cubit deep, the necessary volume of water was estimated as being 40 seah of water. The exact volume referred to by a seah is debated, and classical rabbinical literature only specifies that it is enough to fit 144 eggs; most Orthodox Jews use the stringent ruling of the Avrohom Yeshaya Karelitz, according to which one seah is 14.3 litres, and therefore a mikveh must contain approximately 575 litres. This volume of water could be topped up with water from any source, but if there were less than 40 seahs of water in the mikveh, then the addition of 3 or more pints of water from an unnatural source would render the mikveh unfit for use, regardless of whether water from a natural source was then added to make up 40 seahs from a natural source; a mikveh rendered unfit for use in this way would need to be completely drained away and refilled from scratch.
Israeli archeologists have uncovered a monumental Second Temple structure opposite the Temple Mount that was likely Queen Helena’s palace, the Israel Antiquities Authority announced Wednesday.
The building was unearthed during a six-month excavation in the Givati parking lot just outside the Old City’s Dung Gate, ahead of the planned expansion of the Western Wall parking lot.
The site also indicates that the ancient City of David was much larger than previously thought, said archeologist Doron Ben-Ami, who is directing the dig at the site.
The palace, which was destroyed by the Romans when they demolished the Second Temple in 70 CE, was dated to the end of the Second Temple period by pottery and stone vessels, as well as an assortment of coins from that time, Ben-Ami said.
He said the elaborate edifice, which is an anomaly in the landscape of the lower city at the end of the Second Temple period – otherwise marked with only modest buildings – was probably a palace built by Queen Helena, a wealthy Babylonian aristocrat who converted to Judaism and moved to Jerusalem with her sons.
Helena became known for her generosity in helping the city’s poor during a famine. She was buried in Jerusalem.
According to the prominent 1st century historian Josephus, Helena’s family built lavish buildings in the City of David, which stood out at the time in a largely residential area that was noted for its almost complete absence of public or monumental buildings.
The archeologists carrying out the dig have not yet found any inscription to identify the building they uncovered, but Ben-Ami said there was a “high probability” that the site was indeed Helena’s palace.
“We need more evidence to decide, but almost everything fits,” he said.
The well-preserved structure being uncovered in the excavation is an impressive architectural complex that includes massive foundations; walls, some of which are more than five meters tall and are built of stones that weigh hundreds of kilograms; halls that are at least two stories tall; a basement level that was covered with vaults; and remains of polychrome frescoes, water installations and mikvaot.
The narrow openings that were discovered in the basement level of the structure were likely used by its inhabitants to flee shortly before the Romans destroyed the palace, Ben-Ami said.
The building was destroyed by dismantling the walls of the large structure, causing the massive stone walls and ceilings from the upper stories to collapse onto the basement.
The large edifice was covered with remains that date to later periods – Byzantine, Roman and early Islamic. Below it there are remains from the early Hellenistic period and artifacts from the time of the First Temple.
“It is like an open history book of Jerusalem,” Ben-Ami said.
The entrance to the tomb was sealed with a large rolling stone. This stone was set in a deep channel in which it could be pushed back and held in place with a smaller stone. In the first century A.D., a “secret mechanism” (so NEAEH) operated by water pressure moved the stone. Probably a small amount of water pressure activated a system of weights to open the tomb.
The tomb was described by the Greek geographer Pausanias as the second most beautiful tomb in the world (after the tomb of Mausolus, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world). This 9 meter wide staircase was originally paved and led to a forecourt with several ritual baths (only recently identified as such). Water collected in the baths from a channel system carved in the steps.
The 28 meter facade was crowned with three pyramids which no longer exist but are described by Josephus and other ancient sources. The architrave was originally supported by two pillars, fragments of which were found in the excavations. The definitive study of this site was done by Maximilan Kon in the first doctoral dissertation for the archaeological department of Hebrew University.
The tomb’s exterior design features a Doric frieze and Ionic columns, both being styles originating in ancient Greece and introduced into Judah during the Seleucid Empire, centuries after the death of Absalom. Additionally, the Book of Samuel reports that Absalom’s body was covered over with stones in a pit in the Wood of Ephraim. At the start of the 20th century, the monument was considered more likely to be that of Alexander Jannaeus, the king of Judea from 103 to 76 BCE. However, archaeologists have now dated the tomb to the 1st century CE.
Stairway inside Absalom’s Pillar; another view inside the Tomb of Absalom
Archeologically, the so-called “Tomb Of Absalom” is a Nefesh or burial monument for the adjacent burial cave system known as the Cave of Yehoshafat. During the times of the Second Temple, many wealthy citizens of Jerusalem would have monuments built adjacent to their family burial caves. These monuments were built according to the architectural fashions of the time, many times with a pyramid on top, or in this case, a cone. Jewish sages of that era opposed the building of such monuments by saying: “You do not make Nefashot for the righteous; their words are their commiseration.”
In 2003, a 4th-century inscription on one of the walls of the monument was deciphered. It reads, This is the tomb of Zachariah, the martyr, the holy priest, the father of John. This suggests that it was the burial place of the Temple priest Zechariah, father of John the Baptist. This inscription is part of a secondary usage of this monument during the Byzantine period, where Christian monks commemorated stories from the Christian Bible inside old Jewish tombs in the Kidron Valley. This has led to confusion with the nearby “Tomb of Zechariah”, which commemorates a much earlier figure, the prophet Zechariah ben Jehoiada, according to local folklore; however, it is also a monument for the nearby burial cave of the Sons of Chazir.
News of the discovery of human bones, and from a Jewish queen moreover, inflamed the Jewish community in Jerusalem. The community petitioned prominent figures such as Moses Montefiore and the Rothschild family, and lobbied the Ottoman authorities. De Saulcy was forced to suspend his excavation, but not before managing to send the sarcophagus and other findings to France. Since then the queen’s coffin has been in the Louvre in Paris. According to Maoz Lin, the museum displayed it for a while and then put it in storage. It was brought out again in 1982, for an exhibition marking the centenary of de Saulcy’s death, after which it went back into storage.
On the Tuesday before Sukkot, a few hours after the ceremony in honor of the burial box’s return to Jerusalem, Snyder entered the room where it is on display to the public, as part of the exhibition “Breaking Ground: Pioneers of Biblical Archaeology.”
About a year ago, when the Israel Museum began planning the exhibitions that would accompany its reopening this summer, curator Maoz Lin contacted the Louvre about the possibility of a loan.
“The French gave me a hard time,” she says. “Perhaps there were concerns that once the sarcophagus arrived in Israel, someone would want to keep it here.”
Negotiations went on for about a year, at the end of which it was agreed that the Louvre would loan the coffin to the museum for four months.
“This is the first time the sarcophagus has been removed from the Louvre in 150 years,” says Lionel Choukroun, the cultural attache of the French embassy, who followed the process closely. “There were no particular hold-ups. The main problems were the technical arrangements for transferring the sarcophagus. At the demand of the Jewish community in France, two rabbis came to make sure there were no human bones remaining inside.”
The monuments themselves are crude by almost any measure. Miller seems to have done all the work himself, mixing equal parts of serpentine and Portland cement. There is a barrel-shaped tower dedicated to the Brownings, a pyramid to Moses, a battlement-like tower dedicated to General John C. Frémont.
The shapes themselves-triangle, circle, square-suggest a child’s basic play set. His house remains, The Abby, California Historical Landmark no. 107, along with a “Sanctuary to Memory,” where he stored his mementos and where his grieving daughter Juanita created a replica of her father lying in bed as he had during the last days of his life, surrounded by his boots and other memorabilia. In this vicinity is a statue of himself seated rather woodenly on a horse. This is the only monument not of his own design. The work of Kisa Beeck, it was commissioned by Juanita to mark the spot where her grandmother’s cottage once stood. The seventh monument is a massive stone stage, approached by three broad steps. On this elevated platform, Miller wished to be cremated in an open funeral pyre in the manner of the Native Americans he so admired.
All around these emblems of the past, Joaquin Miller Park bustles with activity. The Oakland Parks and Recreation Department operates a community center; there is a ranger station and a municipal wood chipping site. Weddings take place here. For many years, residents of the wider East Bay have visited Woodminster Amphitheater to hear musical theater performed on summer evenings. For many local singers and dancers, Woodminster was their first auditioning experience, and for some, their first appearance on a professional stage. The amphitheater itself, with its adjacent fountain and spectacular views, is dedicated to California Writers. (The name Woodminster means “cathedral in the w