Garo Nalbandian

ON THE COVER: Slender cypress trees rise behind an elegant doorway leading to a tomb in an area of Jerusalem known as Akeldama. This and other tombs are carved into limestone outcrops in the Hinnom Valley, south of the Temple Mount. Legend associates the area with the Field of Blood or Potter’s Field mentioned in the New Testament, where poor strangers were buried and where Judas is said to have killed himself after betraying Jesus (Matthew 27:3–9). But could Akeldama’s elaborate burial caves be this same Field of Blood or Potter’s Field? Two articles in this issue examine the archaeological remains and rich history of this site and point to a different conclusion: Akeldama was the burial ground for Jerusalem’s ruling elite during the Herodian period (37 B.C.–70 A.D.), including the high priest Annas, who served from 6–15 A.D. See “Potter’s Field or High Priest’s Tomb?” and “Resting Place of the Rich and Famous.”