How do you get almost endless water in the middle of a desert with only about two inches of annual rain? Ingenious is the best word to describe the answer. First, Herod’s engineers built two dams near the peak of the Judean Mountain. Aqueducts then captured the water flowing through wadis (dry valley ravines) and channeled it into cisterns. These large reservoirs pockmarked the western ridge of Masada. Collectively, they had a capacity of over ten million gallons! As needed, slaves and pack animals carried the water from the cliffside cisterns to ones at the plateau surface. Of course, the slaves had their own staircase so none of Herod’s guests would have to watch this menial task.