An ossuary is a rectangular box with lid, usually hewn out of limestone and measuring about 20 in. long × 10 in. wide × 12 in. high, which was used as a depository for the secondary burial of the deceased’s bones.


A loculus (plural loculi; kochim in Hebrew) is a burial recess approximately six feet long hewn into a tomb chamber’s wall.


Another study, by Patricia Smith and Baruch Arensburg (“Life Expectancy in Jews Living in Israel at the Time of the Second Temple”), compared life spans and illness patterns of the people buried in the Jericho tomb with their contemporaries in the Mediterranean area. Smith and Arensburg conclude that this Jericho family had a substantially higher percentage of adults over 50 years old (23%) than families in other communities where bones have been studied in Jerusalem, in the Galilee and in Classical Greece. The dry, hot Jericho climate apparently provided a healthy place to live. In the Galilee and Jerusalem, most adult skeletons showed arthritic lesions at the joints. This was rare at Jericho. Rheumatic and respiratory diseases were also far less common at Jericho than at sites with cold, wet winters.


J. B. Frey, Corpus Inscriptionum Iudaicarum, vol. 2, Roma Pontifico Istituto di Archeologia Cristiana, 1952, p. 289 nos. 1308 a–b.


Nahman Avigad, “The Burial-Vault of a Nazarite Family on Mount Scopus,” Israel Exploration Journal 21 (1971), pp. 185–200.


The Talmud is a body of teaching which comprises the commentary and discussions of the mishnah. The study of the mishnah was centered in Israel and Babylon, resulting in the emergence of two Talmuds: the Jerusalem Talmud and the Babylonian Talmud.



Josephus, The Life, Vol. 1, Loeb Classical Library, (London Heinemann, 1926).