The purpose of the ritual bat hs in the tombs of the kings: A new proposal

Omri Abadi, Boaz Zissu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The monumental burial complex known as the "Tombs of the Kings" is regarded by scholars as the burial plot of Queen Helena of Adiabene and her family, who lived in Jerusalem in the first century CE. In this paper we reconsider the original purpose of the two large ritual baths in the burial compound, based on the location of the site relative to its surroundings. The scholarship assumes that ritual baths situated next to tombs were intended for use by participants in funerals or memorial ceremonies. In this paper we suggest that in the case of the Tombs of the Kings, the adjacent baths were meant for purification of pilgrims en route to Jerusalem, as can be understood from their geographical location.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-108
Number of pages12
StatePublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Jagiellonian University Press. All rights reserved.


  • Jerusalem topography and geography
  • Jewish burial
  • Jewish pilgrimage
  • Jewish purification rites
  • Jewish ritual baths
  • Queen Helena of Adiabene
  • Tombs of the Kings


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