I would like to discuss two more points, which, though not qualifying as hard archeological evidence relating to the battle, seem relevant and can be considered only by someone who has spent a great amount of time at Gamla and has come to know it intimately . They concern the final moments of the defenders at the top of the ridge. While Josephus clearly allowed himself some latitude of literary liberty describing this episode, I would like to corroborate one of his accounts and to demolish a second, which at least among the public, has become an accepted myth.
The tempest

‘But to ensure [the Jews’] destruction they were struck full in the face by a miraculous tempest, which carried the Roman shafts up to them but checked their own and turned them aside. So violent was the blast that they could neither keep their feet on the narrow ledges, having no proper foothold, nor see the approaching enemy.’ (10, §76–77)

The fall of Gamla was in the month of Hyperberetaios (Tishri — September-October), a time of year characterized by occasional but predictable eastern winds, sometimes approaching gale force. In most seasons we were still in the field at this time, experiencing at first hand the immense strength of these winds, which at Gamla accelerate even more because of the effect of the narrow gorge. Sporadic blasts of these winds can stop one from breathing, blow clouds of dust and make almost anything that is not tied down or made of stone airborne. Thus, the description of Josephus, even if embellished, is no doubt based on fact. A similar incident is described at Masada, where the wall was set on fire by the Romans and the wind first blew the fire back towards them, but then, ‘as if by divine providence’ the fire veered back and consumed the wall (War VII, 5, §315–318).

The ‘literary’ similarities between Gamla and Masada continue