Richard Nowitz

A repository was the preferred method of storing the bones of deceased family members until the practice of placing remains in ossuaries arose in the first century B.C.E. Sometimes the rock-carved pits were located directly beneath the rock-carved benches that first held the bodies, as at Ketef Hinnom. After a period of time, the bones would be removed from the bench and placed in the charnel pit, allowing the bench to be reused. A side view shows the charnel pit.