Israel Museum

Exquisite similarities. Many embellished stone ossuaries bore elaborate architectural motifs, just as the tombs of Jerusalem’s most prosperous families were decorated with elegant Herodian style architectural elements crafted by skilled stone masons. A striking similarity in design can be seen in the shape of the entrance to a first-century C.E. family tomb at Akeldama, south of ancient Jerusalem (see photograph), and that of a doorway carved into the side of a stone ossuary from the first century B.C.E.