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the Church of Dominus Flevit: Ossuaries at Dominus Flavit

Ossuaries at Dominus Flavit

First-century CE Jewish ossuaries at the Dominus Flevit church on the Mount of Olives. These ossuaries are displayed in what remains of a first-century CE tomb, but its layout has been obscured by several centuries of later re-use. An ossuary is a stone box that would hold the bones of a deceased person after they had been in a tomb long enough that the flesh had decayed. In earlier Israelite and Judean burials (i.e., prior to the Hasmonean period) these bones would be collected in a common repository pit, usually under one of the burial benches in the tomb. During the Hellenistic and Roman periods this practice was replaced by secondary burial in individual ossuaries that would be placed in any available corners around the tomb.

Credit: Ian W Scott / Flickr