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Tomb of Absalom

Tomb of Absalom, or Absalom’s Pillar, or Yad Avshalom is an ancient rock-cut tomb with a conical roof located in the Kidron Valley in Jerusalem.

The name of the tombstone indicates a tradition that links it to a tombstone built by Absalom, the son of King David.

However, this is impossible due to the time period in which it was built.

The name of the tombstone indicates a tradition that links it to a tombstone built by Absalom, the son of King David.

Absalom built a tombstone for himself while he was still alive, naming it Absalom’s Pillar.

However, this is impossible because it was built during the late Second Temple period. In contrast, Absalom lived before his younger brother Solomon became king and built the First Temple.

The Christian pilgrims during the Middle Ages mistakenly thought this was Absalom’s Pillar. The name stuck to this day even though we know it was built 1000 years later.

These incorrect assumptions were not uncommon by Christian pilgrims and Crusaders.

They also assumed the Tower of David was King David’s palace which it is actually a citadel built over 2000 years later. In fact, King David’s was discovered in the City of David just above the Kidron Valley.

In fact, modern scholars believe that may actually be the tomb of King Agrippa Herod’s grandson.

In part, this is because the near by Jehoshaphat Cave is a very large and ornamented cave that was used for family burial.

Grave of Yehoshafat in the Kidron Valley

It is s believed by some to be the resting place Agrippa’s family members while he and his wife were buried in the so called “Tomb of Absalom.”

The tombstone was hewn from the surface of the cliff, with one side facing out while the other three sides are surrounded by bedrock. 

The lower section of the tombstone was quarried and the upper section was contracted.

The quarrying style combines a variety of architectural traditions characterizing Jewish art of the late Second Temple period.

Tomb of Absalom in the Kidron Valley

The tombstone consists of two main parts. The lower part, which was hewn from the bedrock, and the upper part, built of ashlars . 

The main structor is decorated classic Greek elements like ionic styled pillars and a doric frieze (the decorative band above the pillars). However, it also features an Egyptian cornice (decorative moulding that crowns a building).

The upper section has a rope like decoration on the bottom of carved cone. The tippy top is a stone hewn in the shape of a lotus flower with six petals. There may have been something

In fact, modern scholars believe that may actually be the tomb of King Agrippa Herod’s grandson.

In part, this is because the near by Jehoshaphat Cave is a very large and ornamented cave that was used for family burial.

It is s believed by some to be the resting place Agrippa’s family members while he and his wife were buried in the so called “Tomb of Absalom.”

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