Loculi and Ossuaries: The Family and the Individual in Judean Burial Caves

Omri Y. Abadi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter draws attention from the cave as a unified social unit to a micro-analysis of the burial within the cave: Who is buried with whom in the same loculus or ossuary, and why? It analyzes the skeletal remains found inside the loculi and ossuaries of a sample of 25 caves, in an attempt to reconstruct the social relationships between those buried in each cave. The chapter discusses the loculi burial caves that emerged in the late Hasmonean period, in which the bones were collected into different loculi, and reconstructs the way in which the bones were placed. It discusses the stone ossuaries used for the collection of bones in the caves since the late Herodian period. Loculi caves with secondary burials emerged in Judea in the Hasmonean period. Loculi caves first appear in Judea in the late Hasmonean period, in the first half of the first century bce, especially in Jerusalem and its environs.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Social Archaeology of Late Second Temple Judaea
Subtitle of host publicationFrom Purity, Burial, and Art, to Qumran, Herod, and Masada
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9780429783814
ISBN (Print)9781138358881
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Eyal Regev.


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