Click Photo for Larger Version
View looking into one of the chambers of Cave Complex 1 that is located near the Ecole Biblique – north of the Damascus Gate.
This chamber is actually the first to the left as you enter this complex. It is very elegant and displays the typical features of a tomb from the 8th or 7th centuries B.C. The tomb is carved in solid rock. This typical room consists of a standing area, where the students are squatting, with three waist high benches – two of which are visible. One burial bench is located on the right, just above the man’s head, and the other in the back. The third is on the left side of the doorway but is not visible in this image. One body was placed on each of the side benches, and two on the back bench.
The students are peering into the square opening of a "bone repository." After the bodies had decomposed, the bones of the deceased and the grave goods were placed into the repository so that the burial benches could be reused. The remains of the deceased and associated burial goods (lamps, juglets, etc.) were indeed "gathered" to their ancestors.
For a detail of the burial bench and a headrest Click Here.
Barkay, Gabriel, and Kloner, Amos. "Jerusalem Tombs from the Days of the First Temple." Biblical Archaeology Review, vol. 12, no. 2 (March/April, 1986):22–39.
Barkay, Gabriel, Kloner, Amos, and Mazar, Amihai. "The Northern Necropolis of Jerusalem during the First Temple Period." Pp. 119–27 in Ancient Jerusalem Revealed: Reprinted and Expanded Edition, ed. by Hillel Geva. Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society, 1994.
For additional views of the tombs at the Ecole Biblique Click Here.
Image from the Zondervan Atlas of the Bible, p. 171. To view/use additional images from the Atlas Click Here.