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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Jerusalem, Jerusalem District, Israel — The Middle East
 

Absalom's Tomb

 
 
Absalom's Tomb Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, March 13, 2013
1. Absalom's Tomb Marker
Inscription. This splendid burial monument dates to the end of the Second temple period. The lower part of the monument is hewn and the upper part is constructed. The name derives from the biblical verse that tells of Absalom's construction of a monument for himself during his lifetime, which he called Absalom's Monument. However, there is no connection between the Bible story and the structure you see here, which was built 1,000 years later. The style in which it was hewn combines varied architectural traditions typical of Jewish art at the end of the Second Temple period. The interior of the monument is hallow; it contains a staircase and a burial niche.
 
Location. 31° 46.641′ N, 35° 14.324′ E. Marker is in Jerusalem, Jerusalem District. Marker can be reached from Derech Jericho just south of Derech HaOfel, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. I used the HMDB.org, Google map feature to help me identify locational information. This marker is located off road, in what I will call a community park area, along a well traveled walkway named Derech HaShiloah. This walkway begins along the west side of the Derech Jericho roadway and drops down into the Kidron Valley. Both the historical marker and the rock cut burial cave that the marker features are located at the base of the Kidron Valley.
 
Other nearby markers.
Absalom's Tomb Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, March 13, 2013
2. Absalom's Tomb Marker
View of the historic marker, affixed to the side of a cut stone wall, next to the rock cut burial cave that is part of Absalom's Tomb.
At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Jehoshaphat's Cave (here, next to this marker); Gethsemane (about 210 meters away, measured in a direct line); Ritual Baths and Water Conduits (approx. 0.3 kilometers away); Double Gate Monumental Stairs and Observation Plaza (approx. 0.3 kilometers away); Beit Hatzofeh Lookout (approx. 0.4 kilometers away); Western Wall (approx. 0.4 kilometers away); The Royal Quarter (Area G) (approx. half a kilometer away); The Burnt Room and the House of the Bullae (approx. half a kilometer away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Jerusalem.
 
More about this marker. IIn a historic valley, lined with an immense number of ancient grave sites, the subject of this historical marker stands out as a significant feature. The subject of this historical marker is actually an immense, rock cut, late Second Temple Period (Herod to First Jewish Revolt), burial complex. The burial complex was cut into a limestone escarpment that juts out of the eastern side of the base of the Kidron Valley. According to the Jerusalem Archaeological Park website, "The original entrance, in the facade of the rock-cut cube, leads to a small burial chamber located in its upper part. The chamber contains two benches on which the deceased were placed, probably in sarcophagi or ossuaries. The holes in the walls of the monument
Absalom's Tomb image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, March 13, 2013
3. Absalom's Tomb
Close up view of Absalom's Tomb, with a view of the entrance to the rock cut chamber of tombs just behind the left side of the "nephesh."
were made many centuries ago by tomb robbers."

 
Regarding Absalom's Tomb. Absalom's Tomb is one of the most impressive of the ancient tombs of wealthy Jewish families that lived in Jerusalem during the Second Temple Period. According to the Jerusalem Archaeological Park website, this is contrary to, "a popular Jewish tradition that associates the monument with Absalom, King David's rebellious son, of whom the Bible says: 'Now Absalom in his lifetime had taken and reared up for himself the pillar, which is in the king's dale; for he said: I have no son to keep my name remembrance; and he called the pillar after his own name; and it was called Absalom's monument unto this day" (2 Samuel 18: 18).

The website goes on to say that, "The identification is, of course, erroneous, for the monument was built about one thousand years after the time of Absalom. Nevertheless, it was customary in Jerusalem, from the Middle Ages to recent generations, for whoever passed by the monument to throw a stone at it, as if to proclaim the fate of a rebellious son.
 
Also see . . .
1. Absalom's Tomb - The Jerusalem Archaeological Park. This is a link to information provided by a website entitled "The Jerusalem Archaeological Park." (Submitted on March 24, 2013, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio.)
Absalom's Tomb image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, March 13, 2013
4. Absalom's Tomb
View of the front and left side of Absalom's Tomb, with a view of the entrance to a rock cut tomb chamber behind the back left corner of the Absalom's Tomb.
 

2. Tomb of Absalom. This is a link to information provided by Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. (Submitted on March 24, 2013, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio.) 

3. Tombs in the Kidron Valley. This is a link to information provided by a website entitled Jerusalem 101 (Submitted on March 24, 2013, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio.) 

4. Tomb Of Absalom I. This is a link to a panoramic, 360 degree photograph, featuring Absalom's Tomb, provided by jerusalem360.com. (Submitted on March 24, 2013, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio.) 
 
Categories. Cemeteries & Burial SitesMan-Made Features
 
Jehoshaphat's Cave image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, March 13, 2013
5. Jehoshaphat's Cave
View of the entrance to the rock cut tomb, known as Jehoshaphat's Cave, that is just behind the back left corner of Absalom's Tomb.
Jehoshaphat's Cave image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, March 13, 2013
6. Jehoshaphat's Cave
View, taken through the barred shut entrance, of the inside of the rock cut tomb chamber called Jehoshaphat's Cave, that is located behind the left rear corner of Absalom's Tomb.
Absalom's Tomb image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, March 10, 2013
7. Absalom's Tomb
A distant view looking south along the Kidron Valley of Absalom's Tomb
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on March 23, 2013, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio. This page has been viewed 741 times since then and 48 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on March 24, 2013, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio.
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