Richard Nowitz

Intermingled bones of many corpses characterized the charnel burials during the centuries before the appearance of ossuaries, as shown in this bone repository carved into a wall under a burial bench in a Jerusalem cave-tomb of the early First Temple period (960–700 B.C.E.). Communal charnel burial persisted in Jerusalem and environs for several centuries; not until late in the Second Temple era did more individualized interment in ossuaries become common.