The Necropolis of Jerusalem in the Second Temple Period

The Necropolis of Jerusalem in the Second Temple Period



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The Necropolis of Jerusalem in the Second Temple Period by B Zissu, A. Kloner, B. Zissu

Burials from the Second Temple Period, that is, the Late Hellenistic (Hasmonean) and the Early Roman (Herodian) Periods, were revealed in all the areas surrounding Jerusalem, the central city of the period. These burial caves, mainly family tombs, were hewn in a necropolis completely surrounding the city and more than a dozen times its area. The consequences of this study have enabled the authors to map the burial fields that make up this necropolis, one of the most intensively studied in the archaeology of the Levant. Approximately 900 family tombs and 60 individual graves were hewn in a ring about 4km around the city. An additional 100 burial caves were hewn within the present-day municipal area of Jerusalem, but are not discussed here because they lie outside this belt and belonged to neighboring villages of the period. Since the 19th century all the relevant findings from these burials were meticulously documented according to various categories: architectural elements (the majority of which are carved in the rock), ossuaries and sarcophagi, pottery, glass vessels, stone vessels, coins, personal belongings, human bones and more. Inscriptions and names, generally inscribed on the sides of ossuaries, give a voice to these silent findings, and reveal the personalities of the Jews who lived in the city and participated in its design and history. This interdisciplinary approach, incorporating many branches of study, weaves a colourful picture that enables us to understand the burial customs of the period and sheds light on the city and its inhabitants. The authors collected, summarized and discuss this large body of information, the product of intensive field work by hundreds of archaeologists and other scholars, who excavated the tombs, collected the data, and documented the finds connected to the burials and burial customs of the inhabitants of Jerusalem in the Second Temple Period.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9789042917927
Publisher: Peeters Publishing
Publication date: 12/01/2007
Series: Interdisciplinary Studies in Ancient Culture and Religion Series , #8
Pages: 820
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.50(h) x 1.60(d)

Table of Contents

Preface     1
Introduction     5
The Extent and Characteristics of the Necropolis
Known Caves in the Necropolis from the Second Temple Period     11
The Rock of the Necropolis     12
Geological Formations and the Distribution of Caves     12
Quarries     15
The Process of Hewing Caves     19
Laws Pertaining to the Prohibition on Burial in Jerusalem and the Archaeological Record     20
Roads to the City and the Location of Tombs     24
The Aqueduct and Burial Caves     25
Distance of the Caves from the City     28
Spatial Distribution of the Necropolis     30
Organization of the Necropolis     31
The Landscape of the Necropolis: Features and Uses     33
The Cave and Its Parts - The Burial Site
Introduction     39
The Entrance     41
The Courtyard of the Tomb     41
Ritual Baths-Miqva'ot     44
The Tomb Facade     45
The Vestibule     51
The Entrance to the Burial Cave     52
The Blocking Stone     53
Rectangular Stones     54
Round Stones     55
Buttressing Stones and Stones that Buttress the Buttressing Stone     56
Hinged Stone Doors     58
The Internal Architecture of Burial Caves     61
Kokhim     61
Distribution     61
Types of Kokhim     61
Ordinary Kokhim     61
Broad and Double Kokhim     66
Two-Story Kokhim     67
Double-Length Kokh     67
Kokhim Arranged in Stories     67
Collection Kokhim     68
Shallow and Deep Collection Pits     69
Use of Ordinary Kokhim     69
Dating of the Kokhim     71
Kokh Caves in the Jewish Sources     72
The Term Kokh and the Archaeological Literature     75
Origin of the Kokh Method     76
Kokh Tombs in Contemporary Neighboring Cultures     79
Dura Europos     79
Palmyra     80
Nabataea     80
Arcosolia     81
Distribution     81
The Ordinary Arcosolium     81
Trough Tombs     86
Burial Shelves     87
Chambers without Fixed Burial Facilities     88
The Standing Pit     89
Description and Distribution     89
The Function of the Standing Pit      90
"Shallow Standing Pits" and Benches     91
Construction inside the Caves     92
Field Burials and Dug Graves     95
Distribution and Description of Field Graves     95
Jewish Sources that Discuss Dug Graves     97
How Burial was Done (Practices and Associated Objects)
Primary Burial     103
Secondary Burial: Removal of Bones     106
Secondary Burial: Bone Collection (Ossilegium)     107
Care of the Bones during Collection     110
Collection by Individuals and Collection Societies     111
The Number of Ossuaries and their Geographical Distribution in the Necropolis     112
Portable Coffins (Sarcophagi)     114
The Custom of Using Ossuaries     116
The Period in which Ossuaries Were Used     119
The People Buried in Jerusalem     121
Objects Found in Burial Caves     123
Burial in Jerusalem in the Early Second Temple Period and After the Destruction
Burial of Jews in Jerusalem in the Persian and Early Hellenistic Periods     139
Distribution and Analysis of Findings     139
Burial of Jews in Jerusalem after the Destruction     141
The Jewish Population of Jerusalem after the Destruction     141
Jewish and Non-Jewish Burials after 70 CE     143
Caves Used by Jews after 70 CE     144
Catalogue of the Tombs Arranged According to Zones
Zone 1     151
Zone 2     177
Zone 3     197
Zone 4     220
Zone 5     231
Zone 6     241
Zone 7     252
Zone 8     284
Zone 9     286
Zone 10     294
Zone 11     316
Zone 12     334
Zone 13     345
Zone 14     356
Zone 16     365
Zone 18     369
Zone 19     371
Zone 20     376
Zone 21     378
Zone 22     387
Zone 23     389
Zone 24     399
Zone 25     407
Zone 26     425
Zone 27     431
Zone 28     436
Zone 29     446
Zone 30     460
Zone 31 and 0     462
Bibliography     473
Figures     507

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