Richard Nowitz

Rebirth of a tomb. Restorers have recently completed work on what has been called the most remarkable tomb ever discovered in Palestine. The tomb was built and used during the Hellenistic period at Maresha (332–112 B.C.E.) for one of the city’s wealthiest families.

Burial niches, or loculi, radiate from the chambers of the elaborate tomb, known as Tomb 1 (see plan). This photograph shows the main chamber, looking toward the gabled niche at its eastern end. At death, a body was placed in a niche (see photograph), which was then sealed. About a year later, or when space was needed for another body, the bones of the deceased were removed to a nearby room or niche.