A warning to the curious?
Burial in Ancient Israel: The Bronze Age
The Intermediate Bronze Age is so heavily marked by a rise in lavish burials that it’s one of the central features of the age. One of the largest ancient cemeteries in the Holy Land is at Bab edh-Dhra’, where 20,000 tombs have been discovered, including many shaft graves filled with grave offerings. An unusual feature…
Early Ossuaries and Shaft Tombs: Burial in Ancient Israel
During the Chalcolithic Period (the “Copper Age,” roughly beginning 5000BC), a new kind of burial started appearing along the coastal plain, at sites like Azor, Bene-Berak, and Hedera. This marks the first appearance of ossuaries, which will become a key element in the treatment of the dead. These early ossuaries are made of clay, and…
Burial in Ancient Israel: The Earliest Evidence
Death, dying, and burial loomed large in the minds of ancients. Their art, poetry, rituals, religion, and traditions frequently focused on some aspect of mortality, and the region of ancient Palestine that gave birth to Judaism and Christianity are no exception. Given the extremely complex theological issues bound up in life, death, and sin, the way ancient Jews and Christians consigned their dead to the earth can tell us something about what they thought and felt.
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