Tombs from the First Temple Period

Tombs from the First Temple Period (HM2MH2)

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N 31° 46.163', W 35° 13.511'

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Ketef Hinnom

— Menachem Begin Heritage Center —

English Text:

Seven burial caves from the late First Temple period were found at the site. The caves, which were hewn into the cliff above which the Scottish Church of St. Andrew was built, were found partially destroyed by later quarrying. All the caves were hewn in hard limestone and were meticulously designed.

The architecture of tombs from this period is known from many sites in Judea, especially in Jerusalem. Their plan was based either on the royal Egyptian cubit, which is 52.5 centimeters long, or the short Egyptian cubit, 45 centimeters long. These caves were intended for family burials over a number of generations.

All but two of the caves consisted of a single chamber measuring approximately 3 x 3 meters. High burial benches on which the deceased were laid were cut into the walls. Raised headrests were carved into some of the benches to serve as repositories for bones that had been collected in order to make room for the newly deceased.

Archaeological excavations revealed that the caves continued in use even after the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians in 586 BCE.
HM NumberHM2MH2
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, October 31st, 2019 at 11:02am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)25R E 289271 N 3517029
Decimal Degrees31.76938333, -35.22518333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 31° 46.163', W 35° 13.511'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds31° 46' 9.7799999999998" N, 35° 13' 30.66" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling East
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