Tomb of Zechariah

The Tomb of Zechariah is a monolithic structure, meaning it is carved entirely out of rock, and therefore does not contain an actual burial chamber. The Tomb consists of a three-step base carved columns and topped by a pyramid. The construction style includes Ionic columns and other Hellenic detailing, all of which are concentrated on the Western side of the monument.   The Hellenistic carving of the rock is dated to the 1st century. 

The fine masonry and decoration that is visible on the western side, the facade, is only the western side. On the other sides of the tomb the work is extremely rough and unfinished; it seems as if the work was stopped before the artists could finish the job.

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1870 photo


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Absalom’s Tomb/Pillar

The monument in Jerusalem that has been popularly called for centuries “Absalom’s Tomb”, is not connected with him in any way. So if it didn’t belong to Absalom, who did it belong to? The original occupant of the tomb remains a mystery, but a theory proposed in 2013 by a world renowned Israeli archaeologist offers a very plausible answer. Dr. Gabriel Barkay proposes that the monument did not belong to Absalom, but it did likely belong to Herod Agrippa I.


Tombs of the High Priest

 Between the two monuments was the tombs of the High Priest.

The Tomb of Benei Hezir  is the oldest of four tombs.  It is a complex of burial caves. The tomb was originally accessed from a single rock-cut stairwell which descends to the tomb from the north. At a later period an additional entrance was created by quarrying a tunnel from the courtyard of the monument known as "the Tomb of Zechariah". This is also the contemporary entrance to the burial complex.  It contains a Hebrew inscription, which makes it clear that this was the burial site of a preistly family called Benei Hezir, lit. "sons [descendants] of Hezir". The tomb's inscription reveals that the cave was used by several generations of the Benei Hezir family.