L.Y. Rahmani, A Catalogue of Jewish Ossuaries in the Collection of the State of Israel (Jerusalem: Israel Antiquities Authority, 1994), pp. 21–22.
Byron R. McCane, “Ossuary,” Oxford Encyclopedia of Archaeology in the Near East 4 (1997), pp. 187–188.
Rahmani, Catalogue, pp. 21–22.
Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 10:1.
Rahmani, Catalogue, item no. 881.
Rahmani, Catalogue, p. 18.
Rahmani, Catalogue, p. 15.
Rachel Hachlili has taken this approach one step further, adding a nationalist bent. She writes that “with the loss of political freedom and independence [after the imposition of direct Roman rule in 6 C.E.] the Jews considered themselves to have been sinners. In order to atone for their sins … they began the custom of bone collection in order to express their desire to be pure for the resurrection of the dead …” (Rachel Hachlili, “Changes in Burial Practices in the Late Second Temple Period: The Evidence from Jericho,” in I. Singer, ed., Graves and Burial in Israel in the Ancient Period [Jerusalem: Yad Izhak Ben-Zvi and The Israel Exploration Society, 1994], p. 188 [Hebrew; my translation]). Even if there were any sources to support this interpretation, which there are not, the lavish decoration of many of the tombs, sarcophagi and ossuaries argues against the kind of ascetic pietism that Hachlili envisions.
Rahmani, Catalogue, p. 292.