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Jerusalem Archaeological Park
The Kidron Valley
Site 41: The Tomb of Zechariah

This burial monument is entirely hewn out of the rock, designed as a cube set on a stepped podium and surmounted by a pyramid.

The monument is a solid block of stone, with no burial chamber. It is decorated on the outside with columns bearing Ionic capitals, surmounted by an Egyptian cornice. This is probably a nefesh, hewn in the late Second Temple period to mark the position of a nearby burial cave, perhaps the cave on the south; this cave was never completed, possibly owing to the outbreak of the Jewish revolt against the Romans and the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE.
Jewish tradition associates the monument with the prophet Zechariah, who lived in Jerusalem in the reign of Joash, king of Judah, and was stoned to death (2 Chronicles 24:2021). The Jews of Jerusalem used to mourn their dead and lament the destruction of Jerusalem near the monument on the ninth day of the month of Av. Numerous Hebrew inscriptions from the last few centuries are incised on the walls of the monument.
Until the late 1950s, the stepped podium of the Tomb of Zechariah was buried under tombstones belonging to the Jewish Cemetery on the slopes of the Mount of Olives. These tombstones were removed during the Jordanian rule, when searches were carried out for treasures mentioned in the Copper Scroll. Nothing was found, except for a small chamber cut in the base of the monument.
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